Urban Innovation

The DDP works to meet the needs and interests of Downtown Detroit stakeholders, including property owners, business owners, employees, residents, and visitors. The goal is to promote sustained development and urban vitality in Downtown Detroit.

DDP-Involved Projects

Static Wayfinding System

The City of Detroit, Downtown Detroit Partnership, and a steering committee of Downtown stakeholders led a planning and community engagement process to design a new, comprehensive, and intuitive system of static
wayfinding signage and symbols to improve pedestrian and vehicular navigation throughout Downtown Detroit. Designs for the system were chosen to reflect popular Downtown architecture. Funding for the project was provided by the Rocket Community Fund, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Downtown Detroit
Business Improvement Zone.

I-75 Cap

The DDP was awarded a $2 million grant from the federal Reconnecting Communities program to explore freeway capping options within the I-75 right-of-way owned by the MDOT. DDP is co-leading this planning initiative with the City of Detroit and MDOT. The freeway-capping options are from 3rd Avenue to Brush Street within the MDOT-owned I-75 right-of-way. A robust and meaningful community engagement process will inform the vision and identification of a preferred alternative for the project.


Revisioning I-375 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance Downtown and offer new opportunities for our community by creating a contiguous, activated space. The I-375 project has the potential to reconnect and reinvigorate Detroit. DDP is committed to convening stakeholders and working with the City of Detroit and MDOT to see that vision through. 

Vacant Storefront Designs (Pilot Program)

The DDP, in collaboration with the City of Detroit, led a pilot program to beautify Downtown Detroit's vacant storefronts. 

Washington Boulevard Promenade

A full renovation of the Washington Boulevard promenade from Park Avenue to Michigan Avenue was completed in late 2023. The $1.3-million project was funded by the Detroit Downtown Development Authority. DDP oversaw project construction and management. The plan was initiated by Bedrock and incorporated feedback from Washington Boulevard stakeholders. The project respects the historic character of the neighborhood while creating a connected north-south walkable path with native plantings and landscaping. 

Recycling Grant

With support from a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recycling grant, DDP continued to promote recycling within Downtown park spaces and during major events. Strategic placement of temporary recycling bins during summer programming and major events is allowing DDP to evaluate a long-term vision for permanent recycling within the Downtown. Additionally, DDP added two new vehicles to support recycling collection. 

Infrastructure Grant

DDP was awarded $2 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund to support pedestrian infrastructure. The funds supported improvements to ensure safety and accessibility in advance of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix and future events in Downtown Detroit. During the Grand Prix event weekend, the pedestrian infrastructure supported over 130,000 visitors across five bridges. The placement of the pedestrian bridges created a safer, more interactive environment for visitors in Downtown. 

Digital Information Kiosks

The City of Detroit selected the DDP to install and operate a city-wide Digital Information Kiosk system. The second phase of the digital kiosks was implemented in 2023, bringing a total of 28 units installed across the city. An additional two kiosks are slated for construction in early 2024. The kiosks offers patrons information about Downtown and other Detroit neighborhoods, from nearby restaurants and shops, to offices, community events, social services, an emergency call button, and more. 

Supplemental Lighting

DDP continues to build on the success of the winter lighting program with additional attractions and décor across the Downtown, including DDP’s Parks and Public Spaces. In spring of 2023, DDP, with support from the BIZ, restored the pedestrian light wands along the medians on Broadway. This project enhances the streetscape with programmable lighting throughout the year and continues to create connected corridors within the Downtown. 

The Detroit Sign

In 2023, the Detroit sign traveled to two neighborhoods. The sign first landed at Marygrove Conservancy at the end of 2022 for their Light Up Marygrove holiday event highlighting small businesses, where it illuminated the campus until February of 2023. It also made its way to the Jefferson/Chalmers neighborhood for the grand opening of Detroit Souls second location. The Detroit Sign also made short stops at Campus Martius Park and Eastern Market for DDP’s Annual Detroit Aglow. Funded in part by the DTE Foundation, this sign was designed and fabricated locally. 

Revitalization and Placemaking Program

In 2022, the DDP was awarded a $13,740,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Revitalization & Placemaking (RAP) Program. In 2023, DDP and its partners have focused on readying the projects for construction in 2024. 

The grant brought together the DDP, Bedrock, Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, Detroit Paradise Valley Conservancy, and Karp and Associates to expand Downtown's public spacesand mixed-use developments. The main goal of the Detroit proposal is to attract residents and visitors to the city's core. This would in turn transition the Downtown community from a place dominated by "work" to a destination that boosts the "live" and "play" dimensions of the economy. 

Downtown Detroit skyline, featuring a Downtown Detroti park

Ongoing Projects within the RAP Program

Grand Circus Park (DDP)

The grant will support foundational improvements that will bring immediate benefits while paving the way to meet the long-term vision for the park. The RAP Grant will complete Phase 1 of an overall $16-million master plan, which will create a gateway to the Downtown that unifies the two sides of the park. 

Campus Martius Park & Cadillac Square (DDP)

The proposed project will increase Campus Martius Park’s capacity for visitors and tourists through a variety of updates. Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square are key amenities that make Downtown Detroit an attractive and exciting place to live and visit. In 2023, planning continued on the Campus Marius Park and Cadillac Square placemaking project. The $2.475-million project will improve and expand critical infrastructure necessary to attract and accommodate more people within these spaces. 

Capitol Park (DDP)

Intended to support the growing residential and retail district, the proposed project will deliver additional elements of the master plan for the park improvements that were set back by the pandemic.

Partner RAP Projects

DDP's partners are also working on projects thanks to the RAP grant, including: Randolph Plaza (Greektown Neighborhood Partnership), Paradise Valley Alley and Park (Paradise Valley Conservancy), Harvard Square (Bedrock), and 1133 Griswold (Karp and Associates). 

Contact & Connect

We welcome and encourage your feedback and questions. Let us know if you have a comment, suggestion, or concern. We’re here to help!

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