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Case Studies 

Campus Martius




Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
December 9, 2005
December 14, 2017

This new civic square has brought life back downtown Detroit.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

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.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Campus Martius
This and top image © University Circle.
Campus Martius
Campus Martius
Campus Martius
Campus Martius
Campus Martius
All images © Rundell Associates, unless otherwise noted.
Campus Martius
Campus Martius

*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.


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