Daylighting the Clinton River

Few people realize it, but there is a river running through downtown Pontiac – or at least there was. The Clinton River actually runs beneath the city because it was channeled into pipes and forced below ground in 1963 to alleviate flooding that was occurring downtown.
For years the idea of daylighting the Clinton River in downtown Pontiac has been kicked around. Critics contend that the proposed daylighting might not be the most cost effective use of funds (daylighting is expensive!) and that lake levels would not adequately feed the stream as it runs through downtown; however, we’re all about thinking big at Metromode and want to bring transformative ideas to light.
Recently, the Larson Center for Leadership, a wing of the Urban Land Institute, has explored the feasibility of daylighting the Clinton in Pontiac. You can read about the project here, as well as in this recent Metromode feature.
We went to downtown Pontiac and talked to local business people and an Oakland County official about the proposed project.

Daylighting the Clinton – FRESHWATER METROPOLIS on Vimeo.

Our underwriters for this project are Lawrence Technological University and the Erb Family Foundation.

Special thanks to Blair McGowan of the Crofoot Ballrom, Bret Rasegan of Oakland County Economic Development, and Koy Phonsana of Avon Donuts.

Video by Oren Goldenberg, Cass Corridor Films
Produced by Matthew Lewis
Music and audio by Steven Kowalski