Glossary: C-D

Canopy #

In forestry, canopy refers to the uppermost, spreading layer of a forest—or the top parts of trees. In a city, canopy also means the potential for shade coming from trees that are part of our urban forest.

City Center #

A dynamic mixed-use environment that functions as the city and region’s core for commercial and service employment. These centers support dense multi-family apartments and lofts to maintain a 24/7 mixed-use environment. A mix of retail types caters to its diverse employee, resident, and visitor populations. Major civic public spaces provide destinations for events and recreation to the region.

City Council Districts #

In 2014 City Council moved from electing all nine members at large to seven districts, with the two remaining representatives elected city wide. Each district contains approximately 100,000 people and is represented by a member of council. More information on city council can be found on the City of Detroit’s website.

Clay #

A type of soil that does not allow a great deal of infiltration, or circulation of nutrients and water. Soil is classified as a mix of three components – silt, sand, and clay. Clay is wonderful for making bricks and pottery. Unfortunately it is difficult for nutrients and water to circulate in soils that are mostly clay—and this means that most plants have greater difficulty thriving in clay soils. For plants, this is a four letter word! Generally in Detroit our soils tend towards clay.

Commercial #

Commercial site designs are intended for lots that are located along Detroit’s commercial corridors. Commercial lots share attributes that the Field Guide has anticipated from a design perspective. One is that these lots typically line transportation corridors, or roads where the legal speed limit is likely to be higher. Another is that there is a potential for prior contamination due to historic land use. These thoroughfares benefit from having a visual presence—although often open lots along commercial corridors previously have been used for parking. Another is that commercial lot dimensions vary greatly across the city, both their width and their depth. Commercial lots often have highly compacted, low nutrient soils that resemble gravel more than soil (again, due to the use for parking). A final trait of commercial lots is that they tend to have a different form of land use (for example, residential) behind them. It is important to note that commercial lots are guided by the City’s zoning requirements.

Contiguous #

A fancy word for “next-to.” Contiguous lots are individual parcels of land that sit side by side. Although they may have different owners they look like one big piece of land.

Corner #

A corner lot is located on a corner. Corner lots are highly visible and contribute to the visual identity of a neighborhood. In most of Detroit, the major storm drains are also located near corner lots, so it can be easier to build landscapes that connect back to the city’s water systems (i.e. Green Infrastructure) on a corner lot. Corners, like commercial lots, are often a unique shape.

Cupcake #

Cupcake site designs are designs with lot ‘recipes’ that can be easily doubled or tripled. Twice the ingredients and twice the space will lead to easy, positive results! Many of the designs in the Field Guide can be doubled, but require a bit of extra consideration and tailoring as part of the doubling process. Cupcakes, however, easily translate into solutions for double and triple sized areas.

Dethatching #

Raking or combing through grass to remove dead debris such as grass. This can be done either by hand, with a traditional rake, or with a power rake.

Difficult Spots #

Lot designs for difficult conditions.

District Centers #

Active, medium-to-high density, mixed-use environments that provide both residential and employment opportunities. They typically are anchored by a major commercial or institutional employer such as a university or medical center. Residential options incorporate a mix of housing types ranging from multifamily to townhouse to detached single-family.

Double #

A Double is a lot design that works best on a double lot, or a lot with two contiguous lots that are both structure-free. The ideal double lot neighbors a house, store or an apartment building on at least one side. Detroit Future City sees opportunity in preserving larger, contiguous areas of open land for larger-scale land management strategies. ‘Doubles’ are designed for scattered, double-lot sites.

DWSD Priority Area #

This lot design is great at managing stormwater and is a smart choice for landowners within DWSD’s priority, Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) management areas.