How the growing popularity of the Detroit Riverwalk is benefiting the community

From zero to three million visitors a year the Detroit Riverwalk is one of the most popular attractions Downtown

Detroit Riverwalk

DETROIT – The new and improved riverfront of Downtown Detroit’s recent increase in patronage has benefited the community in more ways than one. Socially and economically, the Riverwalk proves to be really beneficial to the city.

The Detroit Riverwalk development has been nationally recognized by USA Today, voted best riverwalk in the country two years running.

From piles of gravel, potholes, sketchy behaviors, and zero visitors to nearly three million visitors yearly is huge for Detroit and the Detroit economy. Mark Wallace, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy president and CEO says that the improvements have had a profound impact on the economics of the city with many minority contractors working on projects, more small businesses locating in the area and established ones investing.

Detroit Riverfront. (Sara (Lovio George))

Spanning five and a half miles from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park just past the Belle Isle Bridge, the Riverwalk features an array of activities and places that can appeal to any age group. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy included construction of a continuous Riverwalk along with plazas, green spaces, and pavilions into their access to the Detroit River endeavor.

Whether you want to walk your dog, rollerblade, bike with friends, grab a bite to eat, bring your kids to a playground, this $1.8 billion development has it all. Not to mention moonlight yoga, tai chi, book readings for kids, volleyball leagues, a partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and more.

With the project at 90% complete, small business owners sing praises over the attention the Riverwalk is getting as their businesses thrive with Riverwalkers checking them all out.

Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut, the paved path from just past Eastern Market to the river, have seen significant rise in usage during the pandemic. The Cut jumped 40% and the Riverwalk 20%.

Related: Project to transform 22-acre park along Detroit Riverfront breaks ground


About the Author:

Morgan is a senior at Wayne State University studying political science and communications.