Reimagining the Civic Commons

Spring Forward on Six Mile

photo credit: Alexa Bush

By Alexa Bush

Six Mile (also known as McNichols Road) is anchored by key businesses, including the Metro Detroit Barber College, Lucki’s Cheesecakes and the soon-to-be-grand-opening of coffee shop Detroit Sip. However, the environment of the street presents significant challenges to vibrant activity: it lacks street trees and seating, the sidewalks need repairs, many vacant buildings run along its length, and cars speed in two travel lanes that lack defined parking areas, sidewalks and other urban cues.

On April 22nd, the Detroit Civic Commons team hosted a pop-up event on a block of Six Mile to celebrate community and test out a reimagined streetscape with local vendors, entertainment and temporary bike lanes. The event featured activities for all ages, including spoken word, Zumba and a Hustle instructor who got everyone to their feet, from local residents and families, city officials, and community developers to university students.

Learning lessons from prior collaborations with the Better Block Foundation, the team included the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Planning and Development, Public Works, the Greening of Detroit, the Live6 Alliance, Detroit Sip, Metro Detroit Barber College, Challenge Detroit and residents from the Fitzgerald, Bagley and University District neighborhoods, among others, to set up the event. The streetscape installation ran from Saturday April 22nd to Tuesday, April 25th, with the events and retail pop ups taking place all day Saturday from 2- 6:30pm.

Alexa Bush is a Landscape Architect for the City of Detroit’s Planning & Development Department.

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