DETROIT — Midtown Detroit Inc. has been successful in its crowdfunding efforts to raise money to transform a blighted alley into an attractive sustainable green alley that will provide passageway for pedestrians and bicyclists to surrounding residential areas, restaurants, and businesses. The $50,000 goal was exceeded by $2,290.
“The Green Alley project is a perfect example of how crowdfunding enables residents, businesses and others to pool resources and work together to create vibrant public spaces,” says Katharine Czarnecki, MEDC director of community development. “We’re pleased to support MDI’s efforts in making this project a reality.”
The crowdfunding initiative was first announced by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. as a means to help communities, nonprofits, and businesses raise money for local public space projects. MEDC will provide $50,000 toward the Midtown Green Alley as a match to MDI’s success in reaching and exceeding its goal.
Czarnecki says The Green Alley project is important as the alleyway between Second and Third and Selden and Alexandrine’s is unsafe littered with accumulated trash, standing water, broken pavement, and overgrown vegetation. The new sustainable alley will provide the community with innumerable benefits some of which include the reduction of urban runoff by diverting water away from the storm sewer system using permeable pavers and native plantings; the promotion of low-carbon forms of transportation by improving accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists to living essentials, shops, and recreation.
In addition, Czarnecki saysthe creation of a more efficient use of urban space will attract people to local businesses and strengthen economic growth; a positive change that will act as a catalyst for other area improvements; and an increase in the quality of life and neighborhood aesthetics by replacing an abandoned unsightly alley with a well-planned community space that is attractive, clean, and safe.
The new crowdfunding support and matched funds from MEDC and the Michigan Municipal League Public Spaces Community Places collaboration will join Shinola’s support of $100,000, and MDOT’s grant of $10,000. The design phase of the Selden and Second Green Alley has been finalized.