History buffs, architecture enthusiasts and savvy Detroiters know that Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park complex, built over the remains of Black Bottom, was one of the nation's first successful urban renewal projects (not to mention a pioneering example of modern design). But there's more to the story of Lafayette Park, as evidenced by this lengthy blog from Toronto writer Jamie Bradburn. He posits the development as an urban planning success story -- and an example on how landscapers and architects can help foster community through good design.
Lafayette Park shows one way urban redevelopment projects could have enticed people to stay in cities rather than spread into the suburbs or made suburban developments more land-effective. The neighborhood demonstrates the role of careful thought during development--as opposed to some Toronto condos where it feels like buying the land to build upon was the only planning consideration. It shows that architectural and landscaping considerations play a large role in whether a planned neighborhood can develop into a community.
The rest of the article is available here