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Planners Look At ‘Placemaking’ In Effort To Revitalize Detroit

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Detroit Riverwalk (WWJ Photo/Kasey Stoddart)

Detroit Riverwalk (WWJ Photo/Kasey Stoddart)

marieosborne2 Marie Osborne
Marie Osborne is an Anchor and Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950. She...
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DETROIT (WWJ) – The Project for Public Spaces is underway in Detroit with more than 300 urban planners and economic developers from around the country discussing the concept of “placemaking” — or developing the character of a community.

Deb Dansby, a Vice President for Rock Ventures, explains.

“[It's] a way of activating your public spaces … so, your sidewalks, your streets, and your parks,” said Dansby. “And if you think about Detroit, we have these great sidewalks, they’re huge; and then we have these huge streets with lots of lanes; and we have these great public spaces.”

Dansby said placemaking is an old concept with a new name. It’s similar to decorating your home: You designing your home the way you want it to be because you live there.

You must consider, said Dansby:  “How do you activate [people] in ways that will draw [them] to want be part of that environment  to experience activities within those environments and then wanna come back and repeat it?”

Developers are looking at a section of Brooklyn, New York, as a possible blueprint for revitalizing Detroit.

Morgan Greenseth, who represents a New York design firm, said the once dangerous, decayed community of Williamsburg is now thriving, thanks to placemaking.

“The artists came out, and they made it hip and cool. And I think that’s what Detroit really needs, is to get the artists out into the center …,” Greenseth said.

Learn more about placemaking at this link.

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