SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit

Chicago-based SOM’s plans for the redevelopment of the East Riverfront in Detroit, Michigan have 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.

SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit - More Images

An upgrade of the urban landscape along the Detroit River will begin in 2017. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit

The framework plan sets out a vision of a ‘riverfront for all’, using inclusive, accessible principles to effect positive urban and economic change. A significant portion of land along the Detroit River will remain free from development, and will instead be dedicated to parks and open green space for the public. Former private developments will also be transformed into public parks, creating almost eight acres of open public space across the East Riverfront.

Protected cycle paths will link the riverfront with neighbourhoods to the north. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit

In order to enhance community access to the East Riverfront, existing arterial roads will be upgraded to greenways, with improved lighting, paving, and landscaping. In particular, Jefferson Avenue will be redesigned to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists, enhancing links between the riverfront and neighborhoods to the north. Along the riverfront, the City of Detroit will upgrade the historic Stone Soap Building, transforming it into a mixed-use development to increase density and activity in the area.

Nearly eight acres of land will be devoted to open green space. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit

The riverfront belongs to all Detroiters. Thanks to the involvement of hundreds of residents, we have principles that frame an international riverfront that can be accessed and enjoyed by all – Maurice D. Cox, Director, City of Detroit Planning & Development Department.

Greenways with improved landscaping and lighting will improve access to the river. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit

Development works across the riverfront will begin throughout 2017.

News via: City of Detroit.

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Cite: Niall Patrick Walsh. "SOM's Inclusive Riverfront Set to Revitalise Detroit" 05 Mar 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

The Historic Stone Soap Building will be upgraded to a mixed-use development, increasing density and activity along the riverfront. Image Courtesy of City of Detroit


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