Detroit's Hart Plaza, Due for a Redesign?

Detroit's Hart Plaza is full of concertgoers during Jazz Fest, but some think the downtown space could serve the city better the rest of the year.
September 17, 2018, 11am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Susan Montgomery

Hart Plaza could be the next target of Detroit's continuing efforts to revitalize its waterfront. While the space can be very lively during concert events, some see the space as lacking purpose between events.  "Today we understand that vast expanses of concrete and asphalt do little or nothing by themselves, especially when, as in the declining Detroit of the '70s, the city adopted a bunker mentality toward its riverfront, building the Renaissance Center as a fortress with little or no interaction with the plaza right outside,"John Gallagher writes for the Detroit Free Press.

While there's been no official word on a redesign, Gallagher reports that there have been rumors of a revamp from Mayor Duggan's office. For his part Duggan says it’s early to discuss what would be created there.

A revamp for the plaza might seek to make more sheltered, pleasant gathering spaces, or bringing in more activities. Gallagher quotes a Wayne State planning professor who contends the problem with the plaza is not the space itself, but rather that there need to be more reasons to visit it.   

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Published on Sunday, September 2, 2018 in Detroit Free Press
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