POSITION. Participation in the Detroit Storefront Design Competition (DSDC) has provoked a series of questions regarding the existing urban conditions in the downtown area, and creative ways to stimulate activity that may plot a course toward significant redevelopment in the city core. Acknowledging both the current economic recession and Detroit’s past difficulties in renovating, occupying, and activating its downtown buildings, we are interested in how seemingly small-scale interventions may be used as interim devices to activate downtown streets and buildings.
QUESTIONS. Could similar storefront concepts become the high impact and low cost, dynamic interventions necessary for this process? What type of program or content could maximize the impact of these comparatively small and static venues on the downtown visitors, workers, residents, restaurants and retailers? How can these storefront interventions be organized and implemented to capitalize on existing downtown destination events, such as sports and entertainment, while providing day to day places of interest that engage a broad audience for extended periods of time? Finally, could these interventions become larger scale urban strategies that lead to further renovation and redevelopment of vacant buildings throughout the downtown area? Continue reading