The Promise Of the New Detroit Lies At The Riverwalk

Let’s face it Detroit is a segregated community. The neighborhoods are occupied by a majority of African Americans or Hispanics and Downtown, Corktown and Midtown are occupied by a majority White population. This is not news. While millions of dollars are poured into the White populated areas of Detroit few dollars except for those used for demolition are directed into the Black and Hispanic majority neighborhoods. Even though there are no “Whites Only” signs in restaurants in Downtown, Midtown and Corktown there might as well be because most of the establishments have precious few African American and Hispanic patrons. Even parks are segregated. Mayor Duggan has done an amazing job opening and maintaining the neighborhood parks but they don’t have play equipment and are used mostly by African Americans and Hispanics. If Detroit is to survive and grow this segregation must end. We must go beyond the police protected bike tours and the Kayak tours that resemble African Safari tours we must learn from the success of the Riverwalk and embrace the diaspora that is Detroit.
On any given day three hundred sixty five days a year you can see people of all ages and races enjoying this jewel. It is the only place in Detroit where we are one people. The leadership of the Detroit Rivriverddays1erfront Conservancy has created a clean, safe environment for all of Detroit to enjoy. There is no draconian police force like the one on Belle Isle. Instead security director Mac McCracken has created a modern responsive team that remains invisible to all but the untrained eye. There is no lack of activates for all to enjoy at this wonderful space. From Yoga to Jimmie Buffett it’s all there. yoga1
If Detroit is to grow we must learn from the lessons of the Riverwalk. We must make all of Detroit accessible for all of its residents. We must invest beyond demolition in the neighborhoods and make them clean safe nurturing environments.   gabriel 2

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