Public amenities such as pools, playgrounds and recreational centers play a considerable role in building sustainable, healthy and inclusive communities. As these facilities come with high maintenance cost and liability issues they are often facing substantial budget cuts or even closing. In cities encountering financial crisis such as Detroit outdoor pools are disappearing and Detroit’s vital outdoor bathing culture has almost been forgotten.
Of the numerous public outdoor pools formerly existing in Detroit, only two have remained open until today. As most neighborhood pools in the suburbs don’t al- low access to non-residents, these two pools are the only ones serving the entire population of the city of Detroit. With the lack of small neighborhood pools and limited access to public transportation a lot of families in Detroit miss out on one of the most enjoyable activities during hot summer months: the dip in a pool to cool down but as well building new friendships through collective swimming.
“Dip ‘n’ Dive in the D” explores the potential of introducing natural pools as a low cost, healthy and sustainable alternative to conventional pools for Detroit’s neighborhoods and works on all necessary design aspects to construct a pilot-project in Detroit. Through researching into financial, liability and code issues, but as well setting up collaborations with neighborhood groups and government agencies, the project develops comprehensive design proposals for four different outdoor swimming typologies to seek additional fund- ing for their future implementation.
Support for this project was provided by the Taubman College 2016 Research Through Making Grant Program.