One of the most remarkable features of modern Detroit has been the thoughtfully curated functional spaces created in many of its alley ways. Formerly unpleasant places avoided by those working and living in the city, now many of the alleys feature strollers and leashes alongside vibrant public art, well-lit gathering places and native plants.
No one could stop to appreciate alleys in Detroit without mentioning The Belt, a collaboration between Bedrock and Library Street Collective. The alley which formerly featured little put potholes and dumpsters is now a bustling destination in its own right with its own outdoor bar and a constant parade of photographers using its colorful murals and art installations as backdrops for their clients' most celebrated moments.
These alleys represent Detroit's interest in identifying underutilized spaces and transforming them. As someone who walks around the city all of the time, they represent mini oases of creativity and imagination against the typical gray landscape of urban life.