As someone who is passionate about urban spaces, having an opportunity to explore Detroit has been wonderful. The DDP staff is full of people passionate about the shape of the city and how the cityscape has changed over time. It’s not uncommon for walks to include impromptu history lessons on why buildings are the way they are, what preceded them, and how they shape the existing space. The Detroit Historical Museum has a great exhibit on Albert Kahn, the architect of the Fisher Building, which sports a gorgeous foyer, as well as a number of landmark buildings throughout the city.
Getting around the motor city without a car has also been a lesson in urban planning. The bus system has been just like any other bus system I’ve had to use, not that great but usable. Despite its limitations as public transit, the People Mover was a wonderful way to see downtown Detroit and its buildings from above. And while the dependability of Detroit’s other rail system, the Q-Line, is often in question, I have been using it just about every day to get to work. It’s free and gets me where I need to go. Biking from Wayne State to Hamtramck, I got to see a number of great murals including the iconic The Girl with the D Earring and Sydney G James’s tribute to various Pistons players.