In 2011, Project for Public Spaces worked with a community development corporation in an underserved African American community in central Detroit to develop a plan for transforming Peaches & Greens, a brick and mortar produce store, into a healthy community gathering place.
Central Detroit Christian (CDC) engaged Project for Public Spaces to conduct a placemaking workshop with neighborhood stakeholders focusing on Peaches & Greens and the area immediately around the produce market. To elicit broader community participation and more ideas about activities, uses, services, and amenities for public spaces and existing buildings, Project for Public Spaces and CDC hosted a community Harvest Festival in October 2011 to demonstrate possible regular activities for the area. The festival, which attracted over 450 people and closed a major street to traffic, engaged the community in a casual setting to envision places as catalysts for positive change in the neighborhood. Following the event, Project for Public Spaces developed a program of uses and activities and a series of placemaking concepts for the area.
With support from The Kresge Foundation, Peaches & Greens expanded the store to include a commercial kitchen and community meeting room. Outside, an adjacent vacant lot transformed into a neighborhood park with basketball courts, exercise pods, games, and picnic areas. A new shed built across the street is home to avid domino players and serves as a neighborhood gathering spot. On nearby blocks, CDC operates community gardens, orchards, and an aquaponics farm where they teach local teens how to farm. Community cooking classes are held in the store's commercial kitchen, which now offers cooking and baking space for neighbors and entrepreneurs. Due to its success, the Harvest Festival became an annual event that brings the community together and serves as a forum for neighborhood improvement ideas.
Place Evaluation & User Analysis
Community Engagement & Visioning
Place Plans & Design