When Detroit, Michigan was struggling with its financial issues and coming out of bankruptcy, civic and community leaders developed a number of low-cost, high-impact projects to improve their neighborhoods.
In many places, all that was needed was a gallon of paint. Or two.
Public Art as a Revitalization Tool
Numerous studies in recent years highlight the benefit of public art as a tool to increase community pride and engagement. These things naturally lead to economic investment and revitalization. Mural art in cities is among the less expensive ways to brighten a community. It’s not as simple a task as this sounds, but by simply painting flowers and sunshine on a brick wall will naturally make people feel better about a space.
Those same studies and more show a direct correlation between public art and mental and physical health. So why not grab a can a paint or whatever tool it takes to make your community more beautiful.
Street Art in Detroit Michigan
The public art and murals in Detroit can be found all over the city, often brightening a boring brick wall of a warehouse or grocery store, like this addition to the West Village neighborhood.
Imagine how this would brighten your spirit as you walk or drive past it every day. Think about a yucky winter day and then you look out the window and see this.
Visiting The Belt in downtown Detroit Michigan
These fanciful little surprises are everywhere in Detroit, but a particular place you should seek out on your next visit to Detroit is an alleyway called The Belt.
Located between Broadway and Library Street, the area gets its name from its location in the former garment manufacturing district downtown. It’s basically a wide alley once filled with trash dumpsters, darkness and other debris from a gritty downtown.
Until the artists came in with their vision of a better city.
The alleyway is adjacent to a parking garage. What is more boring than the concrete blandness of a parking garage. And, they can be kind of scary, too.
The artists changed that as well.
Some of Detroit’s trendiest nightclubs and restaurants open in the evening hours in alleyway known as The Belt.
Color Everywhere in Detroit
But Detroit’s creativity and color is not limited to brick and concrete pallets. Why have a boring gray bicycle stand, when you can have THIS?
And why sit on a generic park bench, when you can sit HERE?
Several companies offer tours of Detroit’s public art: Wheelhouse Detroit and Show Me Detroit Tours. But I think it would be fun to take a street art tour on a colorful bus painted by local artists. Check that out at The Detroit Bus Company.
So why go to some drab, boring place when you can explore all of the colorful, low-cost creativity in the new Detroit!?!
More Things to Do in Detroit