Design team's 'boldness' wins competition to reshape Detroit's cultural district

Community News | June 26, 2019

A winning team has been chosen in the international competition to reshape area around detroit's cultural institutions into a unified, walkable space.

Detroit — A team that includes one of France's top landscape architecture and urban design firms, along with five other members with plenty of Detroit experience, has won an international competition to reshape the city’s cultural center. 

Its plan, called “Detroit Square,” suggests radically changing 10 blocks around 12 cultural and educational institutions.

Among the recommendations: Consider shrinking the number of traffic lanes on Woodward Avenue between the Detroit Institute of Arts and the main Detroit Public Library, add plenty of walkable green space and outdoor performance venues, build several outdoor cafés, convert an underground garage into a cutting-edge gallery, and lay the groundwork for a tech-savvy future. 

And that isn’t the half of what the winning team suggests. 

Early estimates put the plan's cost at $75 million to $85 million and could take around 10 years to be finished.  But the first phases of the redesign could be ready early next decade, organizers said. The design competition attracted 44 entries from at least 10 countries and 22 cities, according to Midtown Detroit Inc., the nonprofit leading the campaign.

Read more on Detroit News.