As community groups and government agencies in Detroit struggle to find a solution to the depopulation and economic problems facing the city, one group sees opportunity in the city’s abandonment. A rather imaginative new proposal seeks to create a destination out of dereliction—a morbid amusement park out of a moribund neighborhood. A zombie experience park!
Z World Detroit proposes to transform a 200-acre blighted area of the city into an interactive zombie park where abandoned warehouses become sanctuaries and condemned homes into hideouts as visitors run for their lives through city streets while the undead hordes trail closely behind. As you and a group of friends forage for food and water in this surreal over-night adventure, empty stores and forgotten factories may house the last supplies and provisions.
The project’s creator, Marc Siwak, encourages Detroiters to look beyond traditional modes of neighborhood revitalization, taking advantage of and embracing the rare opportunity that derelict post-industrial remains afford. To realize their dream, a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign has been launched with a goal of $145,000 to complete a comprehensive study to locate the ideal site for the project. With 39 days remaining, nearly $2,800 has been pledged. It seems zombies will never be as popular as Robocop in Motor City. Sarah Cox at Curbed Detroit mused that a tweet from Detroit’s Mayor Bing might be needed to push the campaign over the top, as was the case with a proposed Robocop statue, but so far, the concept has not been approved by the city.
Rather than abandon large areas of the city as Mayor Bing has proposed, Z World utilizes existing resources. According to Siwac’s website, “The Z World Detroit initiative is a radical rethinking of urban redevelopment and Detroit’s well documented blight and depopulation. It turns perceived liabilities into assets that will bring renewed vitality to a struggling neighborhood.” And, if everything goes according to plan, it will create a one-of-a-kind destination that will generate jobs and spur local development.