Open Streets Detroit, Presented by DTE Energy Foundation, To Debut Fall 2016
For the first time in Detroit, two major city streets will be temporarily turned into safe, open, car-free zones for local families and the community to run, bike, shop and play together on two Sundays this fall in Downtown, Corktown and Southwest Detroit. The new initiative, Open Streets Detroit, was launched today by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) in collaboration with DTE Energy Foundation and multiple local organizations, joining the international movement to open city streets to encourage healthy activities and foster increased interaction between neighborhood businesses and residents.
“We are excited to be working with so many organizations and businesses to repurpose our streets for healthy, active living,” said Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of Detroit Bike Share, an affiliate of Downtown Detroit Partnership. “While this is a pilot initiative, we want to expand Open Streets to connect and celebrate other neighborhoods throughout the city.”
Open Streets Detroit, free and open to all ages, is proposed to take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 2, along Michigan Avenue and West Vernor Highway, pending City approval. The route begins at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit, connects through Roosevelt Park in Corktown, and continues through Southwest Detroit, past Clark Park, ending at Boyer Playfield located at Livernois and Vernor. The route highlights vibrant neighborhood retail and green space in communities along both Michigan and Vernor.
“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to help provide this unique, first-time experience in Detroit and serve as a catalyst for change in our communities,” said Faye Nelson, vice president at DTE Energy, and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “The open streets concept has been successful in many other cities across the world, promoting the economic prosperity, culture and vitality of local neighborhoods.”
In addition to walking, biking and running along the route, participants will have the opportunity to take part in free activities, such as sports, exercise classes, and other health and wellness activities. Open Streets Detroit will be seeking business and community partners to provide programming such as yoga, dance, basketball and kid- and senior-friendly activities along the route. An application for programming partners will be available online on July 6.
The launch of Open Streets Detroit joins an international movement of Open Streets initiatives. More than 200 cities worldwide have established on-going Open Streets initiatives, many of which are modeled after Bogotá, Colombia’s highly successfully Ciclovía, a weekly program that opens over 70 of miles of city streets to citizens for outdoor physical activity and has attracted up to 2 million participants over the course of its 30-year run.
“Open Streets Detroit is a great opportunity to connect and build relationships between the diverse communities and people of City Council District 6,” said City Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López. “We are thrilled to host this pilot initiative in Corktown and Southwest Detroit, and I look forward to expanding Open Streets Detroit to other communities in Detroit as well.”
In addition to major support from the DTE Energy Foundation, the 2016 Open Streets Detroit pilot is made possible through support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The collaborative effort also is supported by Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Detroit Future City, Detroit Greenways Coalition, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Detroit-Wayne County Health Authority, DTE Energy, Henry Ford Health System, Jefferson East, Inc., and Wayne State University.
About Downtown Detroit Partnership
Downtown Detroit Partnership strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant, resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community. For more information, visit downtowndetroit.org.
About the DTE Energy Foundation
The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.2 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company's service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. http://www.dteenergy.com/foundation.
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