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Detroit: Renewal through Parks & Trails

Though small, one of the most exciting new trail projects in the country is the Dequindre Cut, a new 1.3 mile urban greenway just outside of downtown Detroit built in a former rail trench that will connect the city’s new Riverwalk to the refurbished Eastern Market, a public market district. Farther, the cut transitions to an at-grade right-of-way, and plans are to extend the trail for a total of five miles to the adjacent city of Hamtramck – a project overseen by the group Preserve Our Parks.

According to the website Model D, the project is being funded by…

$3.4 million provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan’s GreenWays Initiative, a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Michigan Department of Transportation — is scheduled for spring of next year. An endowment totaling $2 million has also been created to provide funds for maintenance of the Dequindre Cut. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy will perform those duties. The project is being overseen by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), which in 2003 was granted $98,750 by the GreenWays Initiative to put the plans into motion.

Along with Campus Martius and the Detroit Riverwalk, parks are a major element in the city’s efforts to revitalize its core, recently summarized in a Metropolis magazine article. Other cities are taking the remnants of their industrial pasts and renewing them for the future. That future often includes parks and trails that help stimulate investment and enrich urban life.

One Response

  1. […] – both as ways to transform abandoned industrial land and as drivers for economic development. (See our post on Detroit for one example.) In the October, 2008 issue of Landscape Architecture we learn of the […]

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