Detroit Riverwalk Ushers In New Redevelopment Model

After pursuing a single-player, single-project strategy for decades, Detroit seems to have found a winning recipe for redevelopment with its new RiverWalk, which stressed regional cooperation from various public, private and non-profit organizations.

"Detroit's new RiverWalk, which officially opens Friday in a splash of celebrations and special events, offers more than fountains, a carousel and waterfront promenade.

It also offers a new model of redeveloping Detroit.

Born of widespread regional cooperation, the project saw the City of Detroit, General Motors Corp., the Kresge Foundation and dozens of other public and private players team up to create the RiverWalk and its nonprofit governing body, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy."

"Nor is the RiverWalk a one-of-a-kind phenomenon. Similar models of public, private and nonprofit cooperation led to the creation of Campus Martius Park in 2004 and to the city's effort in hosting Super Bowl XL in 2006.

The same blend of city, corporate and nonprofit effort will see the Eastern Market reconstruction begin soon. The Riverfront Conservancy will take over operation and maintenance of an old railroad right-of-way known as the Dequindre Cut that the city is turning into a landscaped pedestrian and bike greenway.

This broader cast of characters marks a substantial change from development practices in the 1970s through the mid- to late 1990s, when then-Mayor Coleman Young often negotiated deals one-on-one with powerful executives such as Henry Ford II, Peter Stroh and Max Fisher."

Full Story: Detroit seizes the moment to rebuild

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