July 20: Detroit’s Riverfront

A few months back, Nolan came up with the idea of doing MiWeek along the Detroit RiverWalk. We all thought is was a brilliant proposal. People are drawn to the water. Go to most waterfront cities and you’ll see a robust combination of retail, residential, and recreation along the water’s edge. But not Detroit. For nearly 50 years, the city primarily used its riverfront for factories, cement silos, and failed development decisions. Things are changing. How we use and plan for a our riverfront has taken a dramatic steps forward.

The riverfront has played a huge role in much of the downtown Detroit development news of late. Last week the riverfront hosted the grand opening for a new regional United States Patent Office in Detroit. The only one outside of Washington D.C.  In June, ten million in federal dollars were granted to the help fund the extension of the Dequindre Cut Greenway. And when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that they were renovating the historic Globe building into a discovery center, it seemed like the plan is working. Create a public and recreational space on the riverfront and it will be a catalyst for economic development.

So check out our second MiWeek on location tonight at 7:30pm on Detroit Public TV.

Big thanks to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy for hosting MiWeek on the RiverWalk. Thanks to The Detroit News for allowing us to air a portion of Donna Terek’s 2009 piece on the graffiti artists of the Dequindre Cut. Watch it in its entirety here.





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