Detroit officials are starting a series of public discussions on what to do about nearly vacant neighborhoods and the best uses for city land.

The first community forum for the “Detroit Works Project” takes place this evening at Greater Grace Temple. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is appealing for public participation and is scheduled to attend.

READ MORE: CDC: New Listeria Outbreak Tied To 23 Illnesses, 1 Death

Bing has said the 12- to 18-month land use planning process aims to strengthen the city. Other public meetings are set for this week on Thursday and Saturday, with more to follow later this month.

Some parts of Detroit nearly are empty of people as the city’s population continues to decline. Bing has said that providing police and other services to areas where few people live drains city resources.

The meetings are scheduled for:

Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. Seven Mile Road

READ MORE: Red Wings Hire Lightning Assistant Derek Lalonde As Coach

Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., American Serbian Memorial Hall, 19940 Van Dyke

Sept. 18, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Whittier Manor, 415 Burns Drive

Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., El Kiosko Banquet Hall, 7271 Dix St.

Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

MORE NEWS: Troubling Arsenic Levels Found At Some Detroit Demolition Sites

Copyright 2010 by WWJ Newsradio 950 and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.