Vibrant urban waterfronts: The Detroit River

Modern Cities takes a visual walk through a revitalizing urban riverfront: The Detroit International Riverwalk


The Jaxson has long supported what we call Clustering, Complementing uses within a Compact (CCC) setting as a key downtown redevelopment tool. CCC is a subliminal key to successful urban revitalization that works by locating people, activities (like special events or outdoor dining), and uses (like restaurant or bars) together in close pedestrian scale proximity, allowing them to feed off one another, which in turn stimulates more market rate growth, activity and economic opportunity.

In addition, there is an old English language adage stating that “A picture is worth a thousand words”, referring to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture more effectively than a description does. When it comes to understanding CCC and how it can manifest itself in urban waterfronts, the ongoing revitalization of Detroit’s riverfront is a great example.

Largely due to the efforts of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Detroit International Riverfront has become a major downtown tourist attraction and landmark in the Motor City. Through the process of incremental expansion, it will eventually stretch 5.5 miles from the Ambassador Bridge through Downtown Detroit and east to Belle Isle. The riverfront is home to a cruise ship passenger terminal and dock, a marina, a multitude of parks, restaurants, retail shops, skyscrapers, and a convention center. The city’s tallest structure, the Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is also situated along the popular riverfront path.

Next Page: Photographs of the Detroit International Riverwalk