Detroit’s downtown is experiencing a renaissance unlike anything it has seen in decades. Largely vacant office buildings are filling up with new businesses and residents, the ground floors will soon welcome new shops and restaurants, and the streets and public spaces throughout the downtown are returning to life. Soon a new streetcar on Woodward Avenue, the M-1, will tie the downtown into the City of Detroit to the north, carrying residents, students and employees into the downtown and linking key destinations.
This report focuses on how the public spaces, and particularly the three major downtown parks, can be transformed, both in the long and short term — beginning summer 2013! — so that they support this exciting commercial and residential rebirth in the downtown, and also become destinations in their own right. To develop these ideas, Project For Public Spaces (PPS) brought into focus the concept of Placemaking to downtown Detroit and engaged the public in the Placemaking process. It is the intention of the stakeholder group to begin implementation of these ideas in order to create safe places for Detroit residents, workers and visitors.