This new civic square has brought life back downtown Detroit.
The recent transformation of the main intersection in downtown Detroit into a spectacular civic square is one of the great stories of urban regeneration in America. This city-defining move, undertaken by the non-profit Detroit 300, would have been remarkable anywhere, but in Detroit--which is beset by more problems than any major city in North America--it was particularly daring and exceptional. Using Campus Martius to redefine the downtown around a central square was ingenious precisely because most other cities would have gone a different route, like building a costly development project. Instead, Detroit chose this modest but revolutionary way to start with the city center.
*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.
With locally-inspired activities that fly in the face of traditional park programs, from bread-baking to puppet shows, Toronto residents created a community place out of a park neglected by locals and city officials alike.