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City Modern is a groundbreaking community development in Brush Park, Detroit, restoring the innovation, style and diversity inherent to this historic neighborhood. Featuring an array of new residential, shopping and dining opportunities, City Modern situates current and future Detroiters in the heart of our city.

In 2016, the City of Detroit was designated a UNESCO “City of Design,” becoming the first American city to receive this honor. City Modern seeks to embody that designation, creating a place that illustrates how the design process can thoughtfully and beautifully resolve longstanding urban issues. To that end, the mixed-use, mixed-income development vision will include elements such as a connective string of pedestrian parks called The Mews, alleys designed as sustainable infrastructure, green roofs and shared transportation systems.

Community engagement has been an integral part of the City Modern design process. Architects and designers have collaborated with existing neighborhood residents, city and state agencies, local developers and active community groups to achieve a shared vision for this project. As a result, City Modern combines a diversity of housing types, architectural aesthetics, historic preservation strategies and residential unit costs in order to appeal to a broad spectrum of existing and future Brush Park residents.

Five accomplished architecture firms, all with experience designing contemporary architecture in historic districts, were recruited from across the country to design the City Modern housing types.

Together, they will renovate four existing Victorian mansions and design 20 new buildings in the City Modern masterplan. When combined, these 24 buildings will result in five different building typologies - Townhomes, Carriage Homes, The Duplettes, Historic Homes, and the Flats (apartments) - and create a total of 410 contemporary residential units. This deliberate blend of historic and modern architecture celebrates the past, while looking toward the future to create a 21st century narrative for Brush Park and Detroit.

City Modern blends new housing products into Brush Park in a way that honors the tradition of the neighborhood.

Amy Chesterton, Hamilton Anderson Associates

First of
Its Kind
In 2016, The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) awarded City Modern its Grand Prize “Charter Award” for the project’s collaborative process that has resulted in a “sophistication of streets, elevations, and urban composition.” The development’s careful interpretation of historic building colors, materials, heights and setbacks resulted in the following response from CNU’s Jury Chair, Hank Dittmar, “It brings a diversity that feels authentic.

The new and historic building designs celebrate the past, as well as look toward the future.

Melissa Dittmer, Bedrock

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Designing a dream city is easy;
celebrate the past, as well as look toward the future.

Jane Jacobs