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Detroit is a city of contrasts. Much less publicized, but no less interesting than its industrial decay are its thriving public spaces and gardens. For a traveler, there are seasonal garden events to view and if you’re lucky, exclusive access to many of the Detroit area’s wonderful private gardens. There are also Segway tours available for downtown Detroit and its environs that encompass both the visual up and downside of the city.
In the lively center of downtown Detroit, Camp Maritus Park is a lively, fun, and visually surprising summer treat. Designated in 2010 as one of the best public spaces in the United States, it offers a full range of outdoor experiences in the summer. Winter ice skating rinks become a sandy beach populated with young families and local hipsters as well as an outdoor stage with a Tiki Hut and neighboring bistro with outdoor dining that borders a large central fountain. The Chase Building, adjacent to the park has a public lounge area complete with offbeat canine inspired planters and brightly colored outdoor furniture. The lounge, which is popular day and night, was conceived by Kelly Deines from Rossetti Architects and implemented by Deborah Silver & Co.
Also downtown is Lafayette Greens, an urban garden that promotes biodiversity and urban greening on every level. It was designed by local landscape architect, Ken Weikal.