detroit-park-43
atelier WHY

One of the great upsides of Detroit’s downsizing is that it’s opened up room to rethink how cities should look and work. Case in point: An “architectural collaboration team” called atelier WHY dreamed up a plan to create a tiny forest in the middle of the city. Fast Company reports:

It proposes the addition of a swath of trees to the city’s Hart Plaza, situated just on the edge of the Detroit River across from Canada. That arboreal cover is intended to arouse “curiosity and poetic imagination in people,” the duo write — an ambitious goal for a downtown that has been known to be less than accommodating to “curious” pedestrians in recent years.

In addition to your basic forest paths and trees, the park features a knoll that can host concerts, movie screenings, and plays, with the forest as a backdrop. We have to say, though, that the proposal for features like a small concert space in the woods “with scattered seating areas designed to look like tangled tree roots” verges on the dangerously twee. Especially when you consider that their vision of that space resembles a fairy grove populated by Tori Amos and drawn by Brian Froud:

magic forest
atelier WHY

Also, they want the signage to be “minimized and forest-like.” That sounds nice and all, but hopefully that doesn’t mean people who get lost in the park will have to find their way back by looking at moss on the trees. (It only grows on the north side, right? Right? Guys, wait up!)