Tag Archives: Detroit

Art-Filled Skatepark Opens in Detroit

​Cities from Barcelona to Houston are starting to treat skateparks as community-builders rather than community-aggravators. Now, Detroit is the latest city to benefit from a new downtown skate park. A 4,000-square-foot privately funded park and art installation designed by skateboarder Tony Hawk and artist Ryan McGinness opened Tuesday. Read more... Read more

Detroit in 2067: Where do we go from here?

​​Trying to predict the state of Detroit 50 years from now is an idealistic pursuit to be sure, but keen observers from different fields of study contend the framework for the Motor City’s future is being installed now. Several futurists and urban planners envision Detroit making better use of open space, embracing its own recipe for mobility and building on a foundation being laid now by private and public entities. Read more... Read more

Next Land Bank Director Sees Chance to Make Big Changes in Detroit

​Saskia Thompson is poised to return to her hometown of Detriot as the new executive director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority. It is the largest land bank in the U.S., with tens of thousands of vacant lots and houses in its inventory, the exoskeleton of the million-plus people who left. The authority means to restore them to productive use. Read more... Read more

Why Detroit’s Urban Gardens and Vacant Land are Good for At-Risk Bee Populations

Amid the concrete and cityscape of downtown Detroit lies Lafayette Greens, an urban garden nestled in a plot where the Lafayette Building once stood. The urban garden positions itself as a focal point in a conversation about the burgeoning urban food movement and its potential to enhance city living, change a globalized food system, and address urban sustainability and food security. It’s also one of 30 sites in metro Detroit chosen for a study researching some at-risk pollinators: bumblebees. Read... Read more

Detroit Works Bike-Share Into a Car-Centric City

​One month after launching, Detroit’s new bike-share system is exceeding expectations and has residents and policymakers excited about its future. MoGo isn’t going to be the silver bullet that fixes all of the city’s transportation access problems — what bike-share is? — but the groundwork has been laid for it to be an important piece of the mobility puzzle in this sprawling, 139-square-mile city. Read more... Read more

Creating a Planning Department that “Starts With Yes”

When Mayor Mike Duggan recruited Maurice Cox from New Orleans two years ago to become Detroit’s new urban planner, the city planning department had six employees and was seen as a pass-through for developers. These days, Cox is focused on demolishing barriers in Detroit’s Planning and Development Department. And he’s pursuing a redevelopment strategy in the city’s neighborhoods that reimagines vast tracts of vacant land where homes once stood. Read more... Read more

Detroit Neighborhood Turns to Morocco for Arts Hub Inspiration

​In Detroit’s North End, an inclusive cultural hub is being planned to reactivate the area and celebrate its changing demographics. An underused 12-unit, mixed-use building and the grassy lot will one day be the American Riad courtyard, modeled after the traditional Moroccan home style. Beyond a community arts center, the renovation plans include six affordable housing rentals and commercial space for businesses that serve the needs of the North End, and all plains aim to preserve the North End’s history... Read more

Detroit’s DIY Cure for Urban Blight

​ Land banks are the Swiss Army knives of urban reclamation efforts, wielding an array of powers to make abandoned, tax-foreclosed properties useful again. They demolish unwanted houses, sell houses to new owners who’ll fix them up, sell vacant lots, and assemble land for future development. They’re an alternative to unloading tax-foreclosed land in highest-bidder auctions, which often attract irresponsible speculation. Recovering from bankruptcy, Detroit created the country’s largest land bank to transform a surplus of abandoned properties into livable,... Read more
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