Event 4: A Case for Open Space

Ideas For Innovation

 About The Event

June 2, 2015 @ 6:00–8:00pm
2131 Beaufait Detroit, MI 48207

Detroit’s path of growth and decline compel it to simultaneously contend with legacy issues of a post-industrial giant, as well as the foundational needs for rapidly urbanizing cities. Here, issues of food security, energy costs, fixed infrastructure provision, public health, and environmental degradation frame overlapping global challenges relevant to many cities, including Detroit. With over 20 square miles of vacant land, Detroit has the opportunity to transform a vacant land liability into a multifunctional open space network that can address all of these issues, while creating an amenity for all Detroiters. This open space network could place Detroit in a unique position to become a global leader for urban sustainability and innovation.

To further refine the open space component, the DFC Ideas for Innovation Series “A Case for Open Space” topic will address the following questions:

  • How can Detroit leverage its vacant land portfolio of over 20 square miles (the size of Manhattan) to create a new, sustainable city?
  • How can a broader and more dynamic set of land reutilization concepts yield a new economy, employing more Detroiters?
  • How must policy and regulation change to accommodate these concepts?
  • Where can and should this happen?
  • What is the alternative, if vacant land isn’t transformed into an open space network?
  • Why is focused growth critical to realizing open space opportunities?

Event Publication

A Case For Open Space Publication [PDF]

Michigan Radio’s “The Next Idea” (media partner)

Click here to read the essay “With the right planning, Detroit’s vast empty space could be an asset” by Guy Williams, President and CEO of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
Click here to listen to the interview on “Stateside with Cynthia Canty” with Guy Williams and Dara O’Byrne, Convener for the DFC Implementation Office’s Land Use Working Group

Event Videos

Below are videos from Ideas for Innovation: A Case for Open Space