Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Detroit Riverwalk, Campus Martius Named Best Public Spaces in America

Detroit Riverwalk, Campus Martius Named Best Public Spaces in America

February 22, 2023

Detroit Free Press
Feb. 18, 2023
Nour Rahal

Two Detroit public spaces have been named the best in the country by USA Today readers: The Detroit RiverWalk and Campus Martius Park.

USA Today is owned by Gannett, the same parent company as the Detroit Free Press. The publication’s 2023 10Best Readers’ Choice winners were announced Friday and Detroit can be seen twice on the public spaces list.

Experts partner with 10Best editors for initial nominations and winners are later determined by popular vote.

Detroit RiverWalk: No. 1, 3 years in a row

For three consecutive years, the Detroit International RiverWalk has won first place for Best RiverWalk in the U.S.

“The announcement of this national award kicks off a milestone year for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy as it celebrates two decades of transforming the Detroit Riverfront into beautiful public spaces, including more than 3.5 miles of Riverwalk, world-class parks and greenways and major new projects underway,” according to a news release from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Upcoming upgrades include the Southwest Greenway in May, which will connect the city’s southwest neighborhoods to the west riverfront.

“To go from a blighted and underused riverfront to one that is recognized as the best in the country three years in a row is a testament to how much people love the riverfront and to what our community can achieve when we all work together,” said Chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Matt Cullen, in the release.

Campus Martius Park: 2023’s top public square in the US

Campus Martius ice rink

Steve Koss

Although Campus Martius was named one of the 10 Best Public Squares in the country three years in a row, this year, it was voted No. 1.

“Campus Martius Park serves as Detroit’s gathering place, where locals and visitors alike can come to take in the skyline views, people-watch around the Woodward Fountain, grab a meal from a food truck or go ice skating in winter,” according to USA Today.

In a news release, Chief Public Spaces Officer at the Downtown Detroit Partnership, David Cowan, said, “to be voted the best public square in the country not only sends a message that Detroit is a celebrated and important destination, but also reinforces what we’ve known all along — that the history, culture, talent, and leadership in Detroit has made spaces like Campus Martius Park truly exceptional.”