Urban Revitalization through Art, Community and Ecology: The Heidelberg Project (2011)

Client Organization: 
The Heidelberg Project
Project Location : 
Detroit, MI
Summary of Project Idea: 

The Heidelberg Project is an internationally renowned art installation and non-profit that has transformed empty lots and abandoned homes in the city of Detroit, Michigan into a block-long artscape. The Master’s Project team examined the Heidelberg Project as a case study in sustainable neighborhood redevelopment for Post-industrial Cities.  Research and design investigations will be applied to the development of the new Heidelberg Cultural Village, a living experiment in transforming the Heidelberg Project into a self-sustaining, art-based community. The team contributed to the conceptual vision of the Heidelberg Cultural Village by generating:

  • a short film documenting a public art event organized by team members at the Heidelberg Project;
  • a neighborhood redevelopment plan that proactively manages vacant land and a declining population;
  • preliminary site proposals for a healing garden;
  • preliminary site proposals for an art-based urban farm; and
  • preliminary site proposals for a commercial corridor
SEAS Program Areas: 
Landscape Architecture
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

Experience generating neighborhood and site scale plans, infrastructure, and design typologies that proactively manage vacant land and declining population. 

Identify expected products/deliverables: 
  1. Development of a community engagement plan
  2. Site and neighborhood scale landscape plans
  3. Interactive, 3D model of the redevelopment process
  4. Promotional portfolio of research and design products to be used by the Heidelberg Project in grant applications
  5. Academic paper reflecting on the process of community engagement and design for a post-industrial city.
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Beth Diamond
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Sarah Alward, MLA
  • Fai Foen, MLA
  • Dana Petit, MLA
  • Christian Runge, MLA
Project Status: 
Past Project