New ideas to revive empty lots

March 9, 2015

Vacant land is one of Detroit’s greatest liabilities, or its greatest opportunity — depending on whom you ask.

This spring, as the snow finally fades on parcels of green, residents across Detroit are going to be asked what future they see for the vacant land across their neighborhoods and offered a guidebook to get there.

Several initiatives, funded by nonprofits and foundations, are in the works to arm community groups and individual residents with information and ideas on how to transform thousands of vacant lots into new uses that create beauty, generate jobs and produce tax revenue from private investment as well as clean air, land and water.

A Vacant Land Transformation Guide is being developed by Detroit Future City to encourage informed decisions across the city’s neighborhoods.

Due in late spring, the user-friendly guide will offer 20-30 typologies of land use in a print and Web-based interactive tool that will specify the type of landscape materials, installation techniques and maintenance strategies for residential and commercial land in Detroit.

The idea is to help Detroit residents and contractors transform vacant land into an asset, DFC projects director Dan Kinkead said. The DFC Implementation Office will host community events to promote the initiative. The guide is being funded by the Erb Family Foundation.

New ideas to revive empty lots
Jennifer Chambers, March 9 2015, The Detroit News