SOM in the Press

Detroit's Downtown Revival Is Real, but Road to Recovery Remains Long

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Source: Chicago Tribune

So you think Chicago is a tale of two cities? The gulf between its booming downtown and its violence-plagued neighborhoods is nothing compared to the gaps that a visitor witnesses in Detroit...

...Detroit is evolving new ideas for how to revive its stricken neighborhoods. Here's what they boil down to: Turn emptiness into opportunity. Make a new kind of city — still urban, but more spread out. And while you're at it, avoid the gentrification that typically goes hand-in-hand with redevelopment...

There are signs such thinking is having an impact. A new plan for Detroit's eastern riverfront, prepared by Chicago architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, doesn't simply turn the waterfront into a public space for people living in expensive homes nearby. It includes greenways that would extend to the north, providing access for people living in less-expensive areas.

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