Press Release

Detroit Future City Taps Detroit Community Development Veteran Tom Goddeeris to Join its Team

Detroit – The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office announced, today, that Tom Goddeeris will serve as director of community and economic development, after a noted 25-plus years leading the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC). 
In his new role with the DFC Implementation Office starting April 3, Goddeeris will lead the organization’s citywide efforts related to single-family housing, commercial corridors, adaptive reuse and planning. 
“The primary goal of Detroit Future City is to stabilize neighborhoods so that we can enact the 50-year vision of the Strategic Framework,” said Anika Goss-Foster, DFC Implementation Office Executive Director. “Tom has demonstrated a visionary, equitable and effective approach to stabilizing Grandmont Rosedale, respecting the neighborhood’s long-term residents while seeding new investment. He will be a remarkable asset to our team and to advancing the recommendations in the Strategic Framework.”
Goddeeris lead GRDC from a start-up non-profit to an award-winning, well-established community developed organization.  He is regarded for his pioneering community and economic development strategies and programs, including single-family renovation and resale, owner-occupied home repair, blight reduction, foreclosure prevention, main street revitalization, public safety, and placemaking. 
“In many ways, my experience leading GRDC has been to prepare me for this role with Detroit Future City,” said Goddeeris. “If we can apply similar strategies that have helped stabilize Grandmont Rosedale to neighborhoods citywide, we can make great strides in achieving the Framework’s 50-year vision of improving quality of life in neighborhoods for Detroiters.”
Goddeeris’ accomplishments have garnered him and GRDC many recognitions.  He was awarded the prestigious Terrance R. Duvernay Award from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) for lifetime achievement in community development, as well as Nonprofit Developer of the Year from Detroit LISC and Community Development Advocates of Detroit, and the Spirit of Detroit award from the Detroit City Council. 
“The DFC Implementation Office is continuing to expand our capacity while refining our strategies, taking a data-driven approach to identifying gaps and critical needs in our ever-evolving city.  Having Tom, a well-respected community leader with strong local, state and national stakeholder relationships, lead this important work will provide immense value to our ability to provide innovative and equitable impact in Detroit’s neighborhoods,” said Goss-Foster.    
The DFC Implementation Office was launched in May 2013 to advance the recommendations of the DFC Strategic Framework, a 50-year vision for Detroit. In January 2016, the DFC Implementation Office became an independent non-profit organization.  The DFC Implementation Office is governed by a 13-member board of directors and has a 10-member staff.        

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Press Release

Detroit Future City Awards Second Year of Mini-Grants to Help Detroiters Revitalize Vacant Land with Field Guide Tool

Detroit – The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office has awarded 10 Detroit-based community organizations a share of $65,000 in mini-grants to implement lot designs from the DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots. The mini-grant program is in its second year and aims to accelerate vacant land revitalization in Detroit through offering grants to help implement affordable and actionable projects from the Field Guide’s 34 lot designs.

The DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots, released in October of 2015, offers step-by-step instructions, guidance and resources to transform vacant land into a variety of landscapes. The Field Guide includes comprehensive, easy-to-follow directions available online at and a complimentary, printed workbook available at the DFC Implementation Office. Both offer recommendations on how to assess your lot and choose the best landscape for your needs, wants, skill level and budget.

“The DFC Implementation Office sees the Field Guide’s implementation as an opportunity to bring Detroiters together to build skills and promote equitable land reutilization and neighborhood development,” said Anika Goss-Foster, DFC Implementation Office Executive Director. “This tool provides Detroiters with the instructions and resources to transform vacant land into community assets and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.”

The DFC Implementation Office received more than 30 applications from every corner of the city. Applicants ranged from young block clubs to more established community development organizations. This year’s mini-grant awardees are planning to implement lot designs that will transform vacant land into environmentally-sustainable, outdoor space that creates cleaner, safer and more attractive neighborhoods. A maximum of $5,000 of the mini-grant can be utilized toward lot design implementation; the remaining $1,500 must be dedicated toward the maintenance of the lot, programming, and educational material expenses.

“The Southwest Detroit Business Association is going to use the DFC grant to transform a currently vacant lot into an Eco-friendly parking lot,” said Greg Mangan, Real Estate Advocate Southwest Detroit Business Association. “We would like to use this lot as a demonstration to community members and business owners that there is a green way to add parking along the commercial corridors in Southwest Detroit.  Once completed, this lot, with its permeable surface, will help absorb some of the run-off from rainwater that otherwise would go directly into the storm drains causing flooding during heavy periods of rainfall.”

The Working with Lots Mini-Grant program advances the goals of the Detroit Strategic Framework, which articulates a shared vision for Detroit’s future, and recommends specific actions for reaching that future.

To help recipients achieve their visions, grantees will receive technical assistance from two partnering organizations: Keep Growing Detroit, a nonprofit that promotes food sovereignty within the city’s limit and educates and empowers residents around land use, and ioby, a crowdfunding platform for small-scale community projects.

“The O’Hair Park Community Association takes great pride in receiving Detroit Future City’s Working with Lots Mini-Grant to develop a vacant lot in our neighborhood,” said Joyce Daniel, O’Hair Park Community Association Treasurer. “The 8 Mile Rain Garden lot design will help to manage stormwater runoff and will be a model for community members to duplicate as we begin to restore nearly 100 vacant side lots with purpose and beauty.”

The Detroit Future City Implementation Office is funding a diverse range of lot designs across the city, including:

GenesisHOPE Community Development Corporation, which is planning to implement the “Ring Around the Garden” Field Guide design on the East Side of Detroit:
GenesisHOPE is excited to use the mini-grant it was awarded to assist with the creation of an urban agricultural park that will include green stormwater infrastructure and shade for a parking lot that will be graded and repaved to slope toward a rain garden.

Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation, which is planning to implement the “Friendly Fence” Field Guide design on the East Side of Detroit:
The Mack Avenue Community Church Community Development Corporation will implement a lot design that will spawn a colorful rain garden while also implementing a practical stormwater solution. The lot design is part of the corporation’s plan to revitalize a 13-block stretch of Detroit’s East Side. It will sit adjacent to a 5,000-square-foot property called “The Commons” that will serve as a laundromat, a café and a gathering space for recreation activities, visual arts, storytelling and more.

Manistique Block Club 200-300 Block, which is planning to implement the “Forest Patcher” Field Guide design on the East Side of Detroit:
The Manistique Block Club 200-300 Block is planning to use their funds to implement a lot design that will allow it to beautify and improve the health of an existing woodland. The organization plans to complement its lot design with rain, herb and butterfly gardens, solar panels, a treehouse, wandering paths and wheelchair ramps.

Minock Park Block Association, which is planning to implement the “Ring Around the Garden” lot design on the West Side of Detroit:
The Minock Park Block Association is one of several community groups that is continuing efforts to ensure the greater Grandmont Rosedale area is a leader in vacant land transformation. The association will implement a lot design that is a great choice for anyone looking to increase green infrastructure in the city. Rain gardens capture, hold, and release stormwater gradually back into the soil. The garden will provide a habitat and food for a variety of birds and pollinators.

O’Hair Park Community Association, which is planning to implement the “8 Mile Rain Garden” on the West Side of Detroit:
The O’Hair Park Community Association, which includes roughly a dozen reactivated block clubs, plans to implement a lot design that is one of the best for stormwater management. This rain garden design also prevents standing water from forming. It is designed with plants commonly available at local shops and national chains, and will be complimented by a patio, benches, two raised flower beds and community compost bins. Retired City of Detroit forester, park manager and secondary science teacher Susan Stellar will help lead this design’s implementation. Stellar is a Master Gardener, Master Composter, and a founding member of Keep Growing Detroit.

Southwest Detroit Business Association, which is planning to implement the “Front Parking Partner” in southwest Detroit:
The Southwest Detroit Business Association plans to implement a parking lot design that mitigates flooding by creating paved parking that allows water to infiltrate the ground instead of running quickly off into the street and into Detroit’s sewerage system. SDBA believes this design’s implementation will help transform vacant space along commercial corridors into community assets through beautification and greening. DFC hopes SDBA’s design, which will be complimented by trees, flowers, and other greenery, will serve as a model for beautiful and beneficial parking lots citywide.

A full list of winners is below, and online at

Last year, the DFC Implementation Office awarded mini-grants to 15 Detroit grassroots organizations and individuals to implement lot designs that transformed vacant land into green infrastructure, addressed stormwater concerns and activated community spaces. The community organizations that came together to implement lot designs to manage stormwater runoff and to beautify vacant lots in their neighborhoods, include Bounce Back Detroit, North Rosedale Park Civic Association, and Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation.  For more information about last year’s mini-grant awardees’ lot designs, visit

For more information about the Working with Lots Mini-Grant program and its winners, visit Connect with Detroit Future City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #dfclots.  

The Working with Lots Mini-Grant program is funded by The Kresge Foundation, whose mission is to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grant-making and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit.

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Press Release

Detroit Future City’s “The Buzz” Empowers Barbers and Mowers To Collaboratively Design Detroit’s Vacant Land

Detroit – The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office’s Knight Cities Challenge winning initiative “The Buzz” will put the collaborative work of barbers and mowers – institutions and leaders in Detroit’s neighborhoods – on display in a “mow and show” on Monday, July 18th. This initiative is a partnership that includes Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, the East Side Community Network, and the City of Detroit’s General Services Department.

The Buzz aims to lift up local talent, entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders through a collaborative effort to transform overgrown vacant lots in Detroit. In combining the artistry of barbery with the decorative craftsmanship of landscaping, this workshop will showcase how a multitude of voices, professions and skills can provide solutions to Detroit’s current land management strategies.

“Barber and mowers are the bedrock of Detroit neighborhoods,” said Anika Goss-Foster, Executive Director of the DFC Implementation Office. “As community leaders dedicated to using their trade to creatively alleviate blight by bringing barbers and mowers together to cut original lawn designs, we are providing an accessible platform for such leaders to have a stake in the future of their neighborhoods. We are honored that barbers and mowers have engaged with us in this innovative restoration project.”

In June, The Buzz held two initial meet-and-greet sessions in the Jefferson-Chalmers community on Detroit’s eastside and the Springwells Village community on Detroit’s southwest side.  More than 25 barbers and mowers came together to discuss how style trends, resource management, and land repurposement could produce viable, green neighborhoods for the community, and how to marry these concepts to create barber-inspired, mowing patterns.

The Greening of Detroit’s Workforce Development program trains Detroit residents in landscape technician skills, and is helping transform vacant lots into healthy, beautiful green spaces.  Hector Santiago, The Greening of Detroit’s Workforce Development Program Manager said, “This creative idea of bringing barbers and mowers together to discuss how popular hair style trends can be used with mowing patterns is another way to beautify some of the city’s lots.  The implementation of the designs will provide an interesting and appealing landscape in the neighborhoods.”

Since the workshop, barbers and mowers have paired off to design, test and cut creative mowing patterns. The results of their collaboration will be debuted in a “mow and show” Monday, July 18th in the Springwells Village community.

The Buzz is a 2015 winner of the Knight Cities Challenge, an initiative of the John S and James L. Knight Foundation, which seeks ideas to make cities more successful.

“The Buzz is a great example of bringing together unlikely collaborators to address real community issues,” said George Abbott, Knight Foundation project lead for the Knight Cities Challenge. “It is one way to leverage the insights of people who know their community best and to create more opportunities for authentic engagement in Detroit.”

For more information or to get involved with The Buzz, please email or call 313-259-4407. Connect with Detroit Future City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #dfcBUZZ.

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Press Release

Detroit Future City partners with Challenge Detroit for the Land Use Challenge

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is partnering with the Challenge Detroit fellows, as well as with Black Family Development, Inc. and Nortown Community Development Corporation, for the Land Use Challenge from April 8, through May 6, 2016. The Challenge Detroit Land Use project serves as an important opportunity to further build community capacity, garner lessons learned and identify resources to help implement additional Field Guide lot designs in the community.

Here are some images from the event.

CH 1
The fellows painted the side of a neighbor’s garage that faced the vacant lot on Roylat St.
Challenge Detroit Fellows 2015-2016 from left to right: Eric Laksonen, Amelia Suarez, Nick Najor, Annie Gough

CD 2
Aerial view of vacant lot on Rolyat Street in which the Challenge Detroit Fellows implemented Dumping Preventer and Urban Edge lot designs
Drone photo taken by: Nadir Ali, Challenge Detroit Fellow 2015-2016

CD 3
Testing the soil on the vacant lot
Mikayla Cutlip, Challenge Detroit Fellow 2015-2016

CD 4
Challenge Detroit Fellows going through the capacity building exercises in the Field Guide. Left to right: Ephraim Clark, David Engel, Eric Silverstein, Gabriela Santiago-Romero, Emily Kempa

CD 5
Challenge Detroit Design Team builds a fence for the vacant lot
From Left to right: Michael Paciero, David Engel

CD 6
Challenge Detroit Fellows on Planting day April 29th, 2016
From Left to right: Nick Najor, Devon Seery, Michael Paciero (kneeling in the back, middle), David Engel, Kelsey Stein

CD 7
Challenge Detroit Fellow, Michael Paciero constricting a wooden fence for the lot on Rolyat St.

CD 8
Challenge Detroit fellows (left to right) Michael Paciero, David Engel, and Devon Seery loaded mulch onto the vacant lot during the design team’s preparation day, April 29th, 2016

CD 9
Challenge Detroit fellows flag the lot
From left to right: Paulina Kriska, Emily Kempa

CD 10
Challenge Detroit Fellows 2015-2016

Press Release

DFC Open Space Report

The DFC Implementation Office’s Open Space Report, “Achieving an Integrated Open Space Network in Detroit,” lays the groundwork for creating a new green and sustainable city that will improve the quality of life for all Detroiters. Open space is defined as structure-free land that is intentionally used. Building from the recommendations in the DFC Strategic Framework, the DFC Implementation Office worked with key stakeholders to create the Open Space Report, a comprehensive report that takes the essentials of the DFC Strategic Framework around open space, and outlines a set of considerations advancing the vision of transforming vacant land into an integrated open space network.

The DFC Implementation Office’s Open Space Report lays out existing conditions, stakeholder feedback, and key planning considerations for each potential type of open space, recommendations for land ownership models, considerations for funding the open space network, and key policy, regulatory and legal considerations. The DFC Implementation Office developed this initiative to advocate for and inform a city-wide open space plan with robust community engagement that allows all Detroiters an opportunity to share in the recovery of the city.

Click here to read the Open Space Report.

Press Release

Apply for up to $5,000 to improve a vacant lot in Detroit!

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Field Guide to Working with Lots is a tool that provides step-by-step instruction to support Detroiters in transforming vacant land in order to create cleaner, safer and more attractive neighborhoods.

The Field Guide mini-grant program encourages Detroit residents, community groups and businesses to utilize the Field Guide to implement land stewardship activities in Detroit’s neighborhoods. This December, the DFC Implementation Office will award 15 grants for a maximum amount of $5,000 per applicant.

Click here for the mini-grant application.

Press Release

Anika Goss-Foster Tapped to Lead Detroit Future City As it Becomes an Independent Non-profit

Detroit – The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office announced, today, that Anika Goss-Foster will serve as its next executive director, leading the organization as it becomes an independent, non-profit entity. Goss-Foster will begin in this role on Jan. 4, 2016, after more than 15 years of leadership in national and local roles in community development and non-profit management.

Goss-Foster, a Detroit native and resident, was chosen after an extensive nationwide search, which began in June of this year. Dr. George Swan III, who has served as chair of the DFC Implementation Office’s transition management committee (TMC), which led the executive search, said, “Anika was the clear leader in an impressive pool of candidates from across the US.

“With deep roots in Detroit, expertise in community development, and proven non-profit leadership, she is extremely well-qualified for this role. We are thrilled to have Anika lead Detroit Future City into this important next phase for the organization,” said Swan.

Goss-Foster has worked at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for 15 years. In her most recent post as vice president of the Midwest region, she provided strategic and technical support for seven LISC offices in cities across the Midwest that are engaged in resident-led, comprehensive community development. Prior to this role, Goss-Foster served as vice president of sustainable communities, where she supported 16 local offices’ efforts to implement comprehensive community development strategies as part of LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities program.

Her experience in Detroit began with LISC as well, where she served as the organization’s Detroit program director. She was noted for several major achievements while in this position, including managing a $40 million community development campaign, and designing and leading the campaign for the city’s first Land Bank Authority. Goss-Foster has also worked for the City of Detroit as its director of philanthropic affairs and executive director of the Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative which launched initiatives in six neighborhoods to improve city services and attract philanthropic investment.

“Leading the DFC Implementation Office provides an exciting opportunity to translate my experience and expertise into an effort that is providing long-term, sustainable, and transformational impact in the City of Detroit,” said Goss-Foster. “We are at an important moment where we can work to further our position as the connecting force that aligns stakeholders around the recommendations in the Strategic Framework.”

In addition to Swan, the TMC that led the executive search includes Jed Howbert, Mayor Duggan’s Office of Jobs and Economic Development; Rod Miller, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; James Ribbron, a Detroit citizen; Alice Thompson, Black Family Development Inc.; and Laura Trudeau, The Kresge Foundation.
As the DFC Implementation Office transitions to an independent non-profit, the TMC is finalizing the governance of the organization, including the nomination of its new board, which will be in place in January 2016.
Dan Kinkead, who has served the DFC Implementation Office in a leadership capacity since its inception in May 2013, will continue to lead innovative programs and projects as director of initiatives. The DFC Implementation Office has a nine-person team working to advance the recommendations set forth in the DFC Strategic Framework.
Swan said, “Dan and the DFC Implementation Office staff have advanced some of our most impactful and innovative work to-date. They’ve established the organization as a pivotal partner on numerous initiatives, and a nationally and internationally recognized thought leader. With our leadership team in place and a strong board coming in to offer strategic direction, the DFC Implementation Office is well-positioned to enhance and expand the great work it has achieved towards the city’s transformation.”
Major initiatives completed this year include a DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots, a print and online tool that offers instructions for Detroiters to transform vacant land into beneficial landscapes; and Ideas for Innovation, a six-part speaker series that engaged local and nation thought leaders and Detroiters in conversations on several key focus areas of the DFC Strategic Framework. In addition to these signature programs, the DFC Implementation Office has been engaged in more than a dozen other impactful initiatives this year to revitalize Detroit.

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About Detroit Future City
The DFC Implementation Office was formed to advance the recommendations of the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan. It coordinates strategies, actions and resources to catalyze long-term revitalization of Detroit and adds research and implementation capacity to the work of contributing partners and stakeholders. For more information visit

Press Release

Detroit Future City Brings Together Regional Leaders at the DIA

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is hosting several industry and thought leaders from Southeast Michigan and nationally to address the importance of regional collaboration for the final event of the six-part Ideas for Innovation series.  The event, The Making of a Shared Regional Vision, will take place on Tuesday, October 27, 6 p.m., at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Lecture Hall.  Ideas for Innovation is funded by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


“Many of the imperatives laid out in the DFC Strategic Framework can best be realized for Detroit if we can steward strong regional collaboration and cooperation,” said Dan Kinkead, DFC Implementation Office Acting Director. “The Making of a Shared Regional Vision is fitting to end our Ideas for Innovation series, as it will address issues pertinent to the City’s advancement in all areas we’ve discussed in the previous five events, but through a regional lens. “


The event will open with remarks from Annmarie Erickson, the DIA’s COO, who will discuss the museum’s tri-county millage support. The following speakers will give brief presentations and participate in a panel discussion:

  • Hunter Morrison, Director of Vibrant Northeast Ohio (Vibrant NEO) will bring lessons learned from Cleveland and how planning a future together can lead to a vibrant and sustainable region
  • Michael Ford, CEO of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will speak about building a coalition around regional transportation in advance of the 2016 ballot for millage.
  • Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director of Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES) will address the social dynamics of regionalism and role of faith based community.
  • John Austin, Director of Great Lakes Economic Initiative will relay how the Great Lakes are key to our global competitiveness as a region.

Ideas for Innovation has brought together more than 800 attendees to discuss topics ranging from developing an open space network to equitable growth. The five events evoked conversations around the DFC Strategic Framework’s priorities by featuring renowned local and national thought leaders and subject matter experts. All events were followed by a publication that laid out specific actionable ideas garnered from the events.

“Knight Foundation’s mission is to foster informed and engaged communities, and DFC’s Ideas for Innovation has been an excellent platform to advance these efforts for Detroiters,” said Katy Locker, Detroit program director of the Knight Foundation. “We’ve been thrilled to see how many Detroiters have engaged in these events, and the action-oriented recommendations that DFC has been able to document for future efforts in our city.”

The Making of a Shared Regional Vision will be followed by a reception. Registration is available here.

About Ideas for Innovation

“Ideas for Innovation” was established to provide a platform for collaboration and discussion on Detroit’s future.  The Making of a Shared Regional Vision is the final event of the six-part series funded by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The first five events were attended by over 800 people in total, and centered on A Case for Open Space, Strengthening the City’s Neighborhoods, Opportunities for Innovation, the Making of a Great City, and Equitable Growth.


Press Release

Detroit Future City Releases Field Guide Tool to Help Detroiters Transform Vacant Land

Detroit – Detroiters, who have long been challenged with the liabilities of vacant land in their neighborhood, will now have a user-friendly tool developed by the Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office and a range of partners to help guide their efforts to transform these vacant lots into assets.

The DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots is available online and in print and offers step-by-step instructions, guidance and resources to transform vacant land into a variety of landscapes.

“The DFC Implementation Office opened two years ago with a mission to improve quality of life by engaging and empowering Detroiters through participatory processes that yield innovative and impactful pilot programs and tools. The Field Guide is a great example of how we are achieving that mission,” said Dan Kinkead, DFC Implementation Office Acting Executive Director.

“While our office has made great strides to advance the shared imperatives laid out in the DFC Strategic Framework from a systemic level, the Field Guide puts the tools to fulfill those imperatives in the hands of Detroiters.  It’s an equitable and actionable guidebook to improve our neighborhoods by improving physical appearance, contributing to a more resilient natural infrastructure, and stimulating job growth and economic opportunity.

The Field Guide was developed over the past year as the DFC Implementation Office engaged an array of community partners and stakeholders to help inform its content.  This robust process was designed to ensure the Field Guide reflects the needs and aspirations of Detroiters and true conditions of the city’s land.

Andrea Perkins, community planner and engagement specialist for Black Family Development, served as member of a stakeholder review group for the Field Guide.  She said, “DFC brought all elements of the Field Guide, from design and content to implementation strategies, to the table for feedback from stakeholders. Because of this dedicated engagement process, the Field Guide provides comprehensive details that address and complement unique, neighborhood characteristics across the city.”

The DFC Field Guide to Working with Lots provides a suite of materials that takes users through step-by-step instructions to help transform lots.  The materials include:

The 74-page printed Field Guide with the following sections:

  • Work together – tips on how to collaborate with neighbors and where to connect with resources for the lot project.
  • Get organized – understanding the lot, its qualities, assets and challenges, including mapping the block, testing the soil, assess sun and shade, and budgeting.
  • Lot designs – 34 lot design reference cards that illustrate the different designs for various types of lots, and include considerations for skill level, time and upkeep, storm water reduction, and budget.
  • Make connections – Information about resources in the community that can help the lot attainment and transformation process.

The 34 lot designs:

  • After working through the Field Guide and deciding from the reference cards which design/s are best for the users’ lots, the lot design pamphlets provide more explicit instructions on how to construct the lot.  These are available in print or online.

The Field Guide website (

  • The Field Guide website includes all of the above information, as well as user-friendly tools like the “Discover Your Lot” quiz, a glossary of terms and the lot designs that can be downloaded. The website will also have images and updates on local examples of other organizations, groups and residents working with land in Detroit, including examples of where designs from the Field Guide are being built.”

To complement the Field Guide, the DFC Implementation Office has also developed an informational pamphlet called “A Little about Lots” to create greater awareness of the value and opportunity for vacant land reutilization in our communities. The pamphlet defines green infrastructure, and how it can be used to transform vacant land into spaces that make Detroit healthier in many ways, from providing cleaner air and water to job opportunities.

“The Field Guide underscores the important role the DFC Implementation Office plays in stewarding improvements in Detroit,” said George Swan, DFC Executive Committee Chair. “It’s a critical extension to the contributions the office has made to other major green infrastructure efforts, including helping the City of Detroit secure $9 million in federal funding and providing technical assistance for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.”

The Field Guide is funded by Erb Family Foundation, whose mission is to nurture environmentally healthy communities in Metro Detroit to help restore the Great Lakes Ecosystem.  In addition to supporting ongoing blight elimination and side lot disposition efforts, the Field Guide contributes to the formation of an innovative Open Space Network.

John M. Erb, President of the Erb Family Foundation, said, “The Field Guide will help to cultivate Detroit’s inherent green infrastructure, reducing harmful impacts on the Great Lakes while working to stabilize neighborhoods.  This begins to also integrate socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable facets of private enterprise and individual stewardship.  We’re excited to now see the Guide translate into implementation.”

DFC’s project leader for the Guide, Erin Kelly, noted “we’ve already catalogued nearly thirty implementation projects that will be utilizing the Guide and lot designs by the end of the fall planting season.  Along with our partners, we plan to provide insight and support to those implementing the designs.”

Initial implementation efforts, including a mini-granting process, funded by the Erb Family Foundation, will be announced in the coming weeks.  It’s anticipated that the Field Guide will be updated with user feedback for a second edition in early 2016.

The Field Guide print edition is available at the DFC Implementation Office, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, Suite 2, Detroit, 48202, and for reference at every Detroit Public Library branch across the city.   For more information and questions, call 313-294-LOTS or email  Also, engage on Detroit Future City’s social media through following #DFClots and hashtags for each lot design, for example #summersoilbooster or #8mileraingarden.

The DFC Implementation Office will have a number of engagement opportunities in the coming months, where community groups, suppliers and residents can learn how to use the Field Guide and train others to use the tool.  These opportunities will be posted to the DFC Implementation’s website at



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Press Release

DFC Statement about Resilience Announcement

Today’s announcement by Mayor Duggan, along with Secretary Castro of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and Councilmember Gabe Leland, marks a significant step forward to achieving greater quality of life and resilience in Detroit.

The $9 million in funding will support the realization of highly innovative green infrastructure systems and renewable energy provision. This investment comes after nearly eight months of planning, strategy and preparation. The Detroit Future City Implementation Office (DFC) has been delighted to provide ongoing technical assistance to the City of Detroit to tailor an impactful approach to garner critical funding to support these efforts. Each will work to fulfill significant facets of the DFC Strategic Framework, particularly regarding city systems and neighborhood stabilization.

The great storm of August 2014 impacted tens of thousands of residents through basement and roadway flooding. These incidents also contributed to the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated stormwater and sanitary waste to the Detroit River and highlighted the need to think differently about our systems. The planning and implementation initiatives we helped to shape with the City of Detroit, and that were announced today, will begin to improve our city’s ability to withstand the impacts of severe rain events as they grow more frequent.

At the core of these initiatives is a concerted effort to transform Detroit’s vacant and underutilized land into an asset to create resilient 21st century infrastructure at a scale unachievable by many other cities. Here one of Detroit’s greatest perceived liabilities becomes one of its most profound differentiating assets.

We all have the opportunity to shape a new future, where we conceive a truly sustainable city that moves beyond the conventional definitions of the past.

We are thrilled to see such profound support from Federal and City officials, community members, and philanthropic leaders to advance this future. DFC will continue to partner and advocate for these and other innovative ways we can positively transform our city together.

Dan Kinkead, Acting Executive Director
DFC Implementation Office