Survey: The Most Popular Hangouts in Downtown Detroit are Outdoors

The importance of outdoor places during the COVID-19 pandemic is evident in the findings of the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s Downtown Detroit Engagement Survey released Thursday.
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Detroit outdoor space
Results of the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s Downtown Detroit Engagement Survey shows that outdoor spaces are critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. // Photo courtesy of the Downtown Detroit Partnership

The importance of outdoor places during the COVID-19 pandemic is evident in the findings of the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s Downtown Detroit Engagement Survey released Thursday.

Ninety-three percent of respondents said they were willing to go to a park or outdoor space during the pandemic. Seventy percent said they were willing to visit an outdoor bar. Half said they were willing to attend an outdoor event with safety precautions. Another 15 percent said they would attend an outdoor event regardless of safety measures.

“It is critical for the community to understand the social and economic dynamics impacting downtown Detroit and neighborhoods throughout the city,” says Eric B. Larson, CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. “In response to the survey results, DDP has created programming in downtown parks and public spaces during COVID-19 that encourages safe public engagement and in support of the downtown business and residential community.”

Other survey findings include:

  • 86 percent said they would wear a mask when going into a business.
  • 82 percent said they would avoid crowded places.
  • 44 percent said they are not willing to attend indoor events.

More than 500 people participated in the survey. The majority of respondents, 85 percent were Detroiters or from the Detroit region. Half of the city and regional residents work downtown and half work outside of the city.

“The residents of our region and our business and foundation leaders have made great efforts to build the downtown we have today, to create a welcoming space for all Detroiters and a city that brings people together,” Larson says. “It is critical that we at DDP work to ensure that this environment is preserved and presses forward.”

DDP programs manages and operates five parks and public spaces in downtown Detroit, including: Campus Martius, Cadillac Square, DTE’s Beacon Park, Capitol Park, and Grand Circus Park.

Full results of the Downtown Detroit Engagement Survey are available here.

DDP also announced plans to release findings from its Downtown Business and Downtown Perceptions Surveys at a virtual “BIZ Connect: Restart and Recovery” event to take place July 23.

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