Business, City Transformation, Must See, News, Places, Walkable

Detroit Riverfront ranked as one of the Top 10 riverfronts in the US


A few weeks ago we told you Detroit was ranked the Best Sports City in the US in the USA Today 10Bestcontest Reader’s Contest for Best Sports City. Great news and well deserved! Now here’s some more.

The Detroit RiverFront was in the Top 10 in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for Best American Riverfront. It came in at No. 9.  Wilmington, NC, was No. 1.

Here’s what they said about us:

“The riverfront redevelopment in Detroit, a city with 14 miles of shoreline along the Detroit River, is one of the city’s most exciting initiatives. Stretching for 5.5 miles from the Ambassador Bridge to the Bell Isle Bridge, the Detroit International RiverWalk includes a cruise terminal, marina, several parks, restaurants, shops and hotels. In warmer months, the riverfront parks play host to festivals and community literacy and fitness programs.”

It’s no wonder our riverfront made the Top 10. Look where we were and where we are now.


Cobo Center before and after

Gabriel Richard Park before and after

Gabriel Richard Park before and after

Dequindre Cut before and after

Dequindre Cut before and after


GM Plaza before and after

GM Plaza before and after

And look at what was done just this past summer.

Progress on the half-mile northward extension of the Dequindre Cut continued. At the southern end of the extension near Gratiot, the decorative retaining wall is being installed. Underground electrical wiring for lighting and security cameras will follow.

Over at Gabriel Richard Park work is almost done on the environmentally friendly parking lot and winding concrete walkways that will make the park more functional and more accessible. Plus lighting in the labyrinth is done and a new restroom is now underway.

The parcel of land east of Chene Park is looking good. All the structural work is done and a concrete sea wall and decorative planters have been installed. Restoration of the existing walkway from Atwater Street to the riverfront has also begun.

Chene Park rendering

Chene Park rendering

When finished, there will be an enhanced entrance to Chene Park and the riverfront with upgrades to all site lighting, security cameras, new colored concrete sidewalks, benches and landscaping.

Work has begun on seawall restoration to the west of Chene Park. Once that’s done colored concrete sidewalks will be installed. When it’s all done there will be winding pathways for riverfront access, along with beautiful landscaping, lighting and security cameras.

There was progress on many of the exhibits at the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC), including fabrication of a waterfall, installation of an eagle’s nest and placement of a northern Michigan forest. When the Center is completed in 2015, visitors will experience the Michigan outdoors through several primary interpretive areas.

In an added plus, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Operation Service Center moved from Southfield into the building. It provides hunting licenses, deer inspection services and shares DNR-related information with customers.

By the way here’s the full list of winners for Best American Riverfront:

  1. Wilmington, N.C.
  2. Spokane, Wash.
  3. Davenport, Iowa
  4. Dubuque, Iowa
  5. Pittsburgh
  6. Louisville, Ky.
  7. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  8. Savannah, Ga.
  9. Detroit
  10. Richmond, Va.

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