Detroit, Michigan

The City of Detroit’s downtown area has become a dynamic destination through the development of Campus Martius Park.  This nationally recognized park was described by Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Open Space Award as “an outstanding example of a public open space that has catalyzed the transformation of the surrounding community.”  This multi-faceted gathering space offers a multitude of special features and year-round events.

Campus Martius Park | Detroit, MI

After a national search and invited competition, REA was selected by the City of Detroit as the lead urban design/landscape architecture firm to create the design for Campus Martius Park and a new look for Detroit’s downtown area.  Designed as a dynamic destination place for people to gather, as well as a place of beauty for rest and reflection, Campus Martius Park and its connecting streets form a walkable new district that has successfully accelerated downtown Detroit’s resurgence as a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly commercial, retail, and entertainment area.

According to then Mayor, Dennis Archer,”The Campus Martius District sets a new standard for public space and creates a downtown that serves as a destination point for residents and visitors alike throughout the entire year.”  Campus Martius Park, along with improvements to five radiating streets, has been recognized as one of the most important new public spaces in the country. Working with the City and the Detroit 300 Conservancy, REA led the multidisciplinary team that developed plans for over $25 million in site improvements for the centerpiece park and the streetscapes, including fountains, public gardens, lighting and sound, public artwork, signage, and historical markers.

The park has been successful in generating over $500 million in adjacent economic development and is known as “Detroit’s Gathering Space.”
In December of 2005, Project for Public Spaces, Inc. named the park as one of the best “Public Squares” in the U.S. and Canada, and in May 2010, the park received national recognition as the inaugural winner of the Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award. The award recognized Campus Martius Park as “an outstanding example of public open space that has catalyzed the transformation of the
surrounding community.”