April 24, 2018
The third day of National Architecture Week 2018 is focused on Cities and Public Spaces, and Detroit’s recent history stands as a powerful case-study on the many approaches being employed in partnerships between private entities, the City of Detroit, and nonprofit organizations to ensure that both residents and visitors alike have unhindered access to public space that is inviting, safe, and contributes to the localized sense of community that makes Detroit such a rich and vibrant tapestry of unique cultures.
Below is just a sample of some of the recent projects being undertaken to create or revitalize Detroit’s public spaces:
- The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy recently announced the winning design team for an international competition to reimagine Detroit’s West Riverfront Park. The MVVA team was made even stronger by the addition of Sir David Adjaye, principal of Adjaye Associates, who has been described in Time Magazine, as “one of the great architectural visionaries of our time.” The team also includes local partners LimnoTech (Ann Arbor), PEA (Detroit) and NTH Consultants (Northville).The Conservancy is also hard at work on other amazing public spaces in Detroit, including Atwater Beach, the Dequindre Cut Freight Yard, and the Riverwalk extension.
- Public spaces in Detroit’s downtown core continue to pop up, with new additions like Spirit Plaza at the foot of Woodward, Beacon Park, and activated alleys like The Belt joining newly revitalized spaces like Campus Martius, Cadillac Square, and Capitol Park, which is preparing to host a new Sukkah Design Competition led by the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue.
- Outside greater downtown, too, the City of Detroit Planning & Development Department is making bold strides toward equitable access to enriching public spaces across the city. Initiatives like the “Give a Park – Get a Park” Design Competition, the sustainability-infused O’Shea Solar Park project, the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project, and CAN Art Handworks Windmill Project continue to challenge our assumptions of what public spaces can provide for the communities they inhabit.
- Design Core Detroit‘s list of its UNESCO Detroit City of Design Partners includes more than a dozen projects dealing with public space and Detroit’s neighborhoods, like the Detroit Institute of Arts‘ “DIA Plaza and Cultural Connections Project”, a Stormwater Project being undertaken jointly by the Charles H. Wright Museum and the Michigan Science Center, and the Fort-Rouge Gateway (FRoG) Project in Southwest Detroit.
Know of a public space in Detroit that we should be celebrating? Or one that needs some attention? Let us know at News@AIADetroit.com!