Discover Your Lot

Determining type of lot you are starting with is a great way to find the most appropriate lot design option(s). Browse and select from lot types below to learn more. Answer the quiz (  button ) to narrow down.

Are you having difficulty determining which lot type you are starting with? Remember to reach out to someone with experience you trust in your neighborhood. You can always call 313-294-LOTS for additional assistance.

Click on an image to enlarge it and learn about each lot type.


Lot Has Trees

Tree Locations

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Ground Coverage

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Additional Characteristics

Forest Patch


Scrub Along the Fence

Happy Lawn

Hustling Lawn

Bigger Street Trees

Fresh Demo


Basement in Place


Mixed Green

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Special Conditions


Singles are site designs intended for individual lots. If you are considering installing a site design from the Field Guide on a single lot, the best possible type of lot would be one with a building or with another side lot on at least one side of your lot. Detroit Future City sees opportunity in preserving larger, contiguous areas of open space for larger-scale land management strategies.


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.


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.


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.


Splitting site designs are well suited for a lot that two neighbors plan to share, or split. In addition to sharing the space through this style of lot design, you will need to approach the Wayne County Tax Assessor’s Office for assistance in legally splitting the lot into two individual parcels, or to join half of a lot with your existing lot.


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.