City Form Detroit

Urban Design | Strategy | Implementation

Mack Lot

Client: MACC Development   Location: Detroit, MI

The Mack Lot is envisioned as a new outdoor community space that brings people together through arts and culture, food, and recreation alongside a pedestrian friendly Mack Avenue corridor. The design of the lot accommodates different types of activities that cater to a multigenerational public. Features include a central stage for performances, an outdoor seating space for an adjacent café in The Commons, a table for community gatherings, and a play area for children. The lot design also includes a series of gardens with plantings that contribute to the onsite management of stormwater. The strategy for Mack Avenue includes traffic calming and non-motorized transportation improvements from East Grand Boulevard to Fisher Streets. The project builds on the work of the Mack Avenue Corridor Development Plan and is led by MACC Development in collaboration with local stakeholders.

Project Team: MAde Studio and Giffels Webster

View Mack Lot Booklet

The Villages Neighborhoods Strategy

Client: The Villages Community Development Corporation   Location: Detroit, MI

The Villages Neighborhoods Strategy serves as a guiding framework for The Villages Community Development Corporation (CDC) to implement physical and economic development strategies for sustainable development for the six Villages neighborhoods including Berry Subdivision, East Village, Gold Coast, Indian Village, Islandview, and West Village. The resulting vision is for The Villages to be a cohesive yet distinct collection of neighborhoods that provides a diversity of housing options, neighborhood-serving amenities, and locally-owned businesses connected within a walkable environment. Specific strategies to achieve this vision include developing and enhancing amenities and destinations that support complete neighborhoods; improving options for mobility; fostering a diverse, equitable, and prosperous community through economic development; and building neighborhood identity, organization, and connectedness. The Villages Neighborhoods Strategy was developed in collaboration with local stakeholders.

View The Villages Neighborhoods Strategy

Wigle Development Framework

Client: City of Detroit   Location: Detroit, MI

The City of Detroit Planning Department hired City Form Detroit to help them re-envision the Wigle Playfield, an underutilized 7 acre park on the west side of Midtown Detroit. The project provided them with three options to reconnect future residential development to the existing street grid to maximize walkability and connectivity to the Midtown core. The three options represented three different styles of residential development. Based on typological precedents in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Lafayette Park, the options mix townhouses and multi-family apartments around high quality public spaces. The City released the project as part of a development RFP for the site in order to communicate a vision for high-quality urban design to be incorporated into developer submissions to the RFP.

View Wigle Development RFP

Mack Avenue Corridor Development Plan

Client: MACC Development   Location: Detroit, MI

The Mack Avenue Corridor Development Plan is a comprehensive development plan for the Mack Avenue corridor between East Grand Boulevard and Fischer Street. The project poses, "How can Mack Avenue be a model for a new kind of corridor in Detroit that integrates local businesses and innovative reuse of vacant land along a pedestrian and bike-friendly street?" The plan was developed in collaboration with local stakeholders and includes strategies for a neighborhood center, alternative land uses and placemaking for vacant lots, and non-motorized transportation for the corridor. 

View Mack Avenue Corridor Development Plan Booklet

West End Gallery District

Client: N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art   Location: Detroit, MI

The West End Gallery District is envisioned as a local and regional destination that celebrates arts and culture and fosters creative development. The mixed-use district is proposed for the Grand River Corridor between Canfield St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and is comprised of three major nodes: the Arts/Retail Incubator Node, the Community Gathering Node, and the Neighborhood Retail Node. It will include public art, art galleries and ateliers, retail, restaurants, public space, and housing. It will be anchored by "N'Namdi Project Space," an arts incubator where entrepreneurs will develop and test their businesses through temporary pop-up art and retail spaces.

View West End Gallery District Booklet

7.2 SQ MI Data Report on Greater Downtown Detroit

Client: Hudson-Webber Foundation   Location: Detroit, MI

City Form Detroit acted as lead project manager for the update to the 7.2 SQ MI Data Report on Greater Downtown Detroit. The report seeks to collect and synthesize a large assortment of data on Greater Downtown Detroit and craft a narrative to depict the diversity, vibrancy, and economic growth within the 7.2 square miles that comprises the Greater Downtown. Combining simple, easy to read and understand graphics with vibrant photography, the report presents a data-informed vision of the Greater Downtown that is accessible to a broad audience including residents, visitors, investors, and the media.

Project Team: Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Midtown Detroit Inc., Eastern Market Corporation, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Tomorrow Today (graphic design), Data Driven Detroit (data)

 View 7.2 SQ MI Report

Downtown Detroit Infrastructure Strategy

Client: Downtown Detroit Partnership   Location: Detroit, MI

The Downtown Detroit Infrastructure Strategy builds on the work of the Greater Downtown TOD Strategy, The Placemaking Vision for Downtown Detroit, and Bedrock’s retail vision for districts along Woodward Avenue. It seeks to build consensus among Downtown developers to achieve a vision and set of strategies to improve the public right-of-ways in support of vibrant retail and residential districts on Woodward, Capitol Park, Grand Circus Park, and Campus Martius. After achieving the consensus among Downtown developers, a public-private working group including City departments will implement the infrastructure strategy in coordination with the construction of the M-1 RAIL streetcar and be completed in late 2016.

Grand Circus Dog Park

Client: Downtown Detroit Partnership   Location: Detroit, MI

The Grand Circus Dog Park was created as part of the 2013 Placemaking Vision for Downtown Detroit. Collaboration between Rock Ventures, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, and local stakeholders created a vision to introduce lighter, quicker, cheaper activations and amenities in Grand Circus Park. The dog park was created as a social gathering space and catalyst for a growing residential population around Grand Circus Park. City Form Detroit conducted extensive research to determine best practices for dog park design in an urban setting. Its siting and design had to mediate multiple park stakeholders including residents, developers, and the City’s Historic District Commission. City Form Detroit designed and detailed the park, assisting the Downtown Detroit Partnership with community engagement, permitting, historic approvals, and construction.

Downtown Detroit Parking Management Strategy

Client: Downtown Detroit Partnership   Location: Detroit, MI

The Downtown Detroit Parking Management Strategy seeks to answer the question, “Does Downtown have too much parking or too little?” There are currently over 65,000 parking spaces in the Downtown with close to 40 percent of its land area devoted to parking; however, it is anticipated that by the year 2020, Downtown Detroit will have over 10,000 residents, over 100,000 employees, and over 10 million visitors annually. The simple answer is that Downtown Detroit has simultaneously too much and too little parking; too much land area devoted to parking, but not enough parking where it is needed most. The Downtown parking strategy seeks to identify creative solutions to better pair supply with demand to ensure that Downtown land is put to its highest and best use.  


© City Form Detroit | 2017