Design of Detroit riverfront revitalization greatly enhances greenspace & public access

Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill‘s (SOM) plans for the redevelopment of the East Riverfront in Detroit, Michigan have now been unveiled.

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and City of Detroit Planning and Development Department will work together to deliver SOM’s plan to revitalize the former blighted industrial area.

The framework plan involves improving community access to the riverfront, the design of a new riverfront parkland, and the conversion of a historic riverfront structure into a mixed-use development.

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc. was formed as a 501 (c) (3) with the mission of developing access on the Detroit International Riverfront. The entire vision is 5 ½ miles of Riverfront property, from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge, and will include the construction of a continuous RiverWalk along with plazas, pavilions and green spaces. The Conservancy is responsible for the improvement, operations, maintenance and programming of the Detroit International Riverfront in perpetuity.

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that works closely with the City of Detroit and other partners to support existing businesses and to bring new companies and investments to the city. The professionals who work for DEGC act as staff for a number of public authorities and whose board members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by Detroit City Council. Each of those entities have distinct responsibilities and powers, but they are very closely related. By using a common staff – DEGC – the work of these public authorities is well coordinated and avoids duplication. DEGC also works directly for the City of Detroit under contract and manages economic development efforts funded by private and foundation contributions, grants and contracts.

SOM is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Founded in 1936, they have completed more than 10,000 projects in over 50 countries.

All images courtesy of SOM.

See full Arch Daily article by Niall Patrick Walsh.

See SOM website.

See Detroit RiverFront Conservancy website.

See Detroit Economic Growth Corporation website.

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