Vacant Land Adaptation Strategies in Detroit’s G7 Neighborhoods
In partnership with the City of Detroit's Department of Planning and Development, this project identifies, proposes, and communicates land-based strategies and design typologies for the adaptation of vacant land within the Gratiot and 7 Mile (G7) Planning Area in northeast Detroit, Michigan. Vacant land has traditionally been viewed as a ‘problem’ that inherently leads to blight, crime and illegal dumping but there is a movement Detroit and other de-industrializing cities are taking toward embracing abundant open space as a resource. Through an iterative process of context and site analysis, mapping, community engagement, ideation and design, we investigate the challenges and opportunities presented by vacant land throughout the planning area. From this work emerge pathways toward a multi-functional open space framework, particularly through the lenses of public health and wellbeing, livability, environmental justice and sustainability. Landscape typologies are illustrated and analyzed for their social and environmental benefits, to inform continued planning and design by the City of Detroit and G7 Planning Team. It is hoped that this project will serve as inspiration and guidance for vacant land adaptation in other shrinking, post-industrial cities.
Chuyi Yin, MLA, MS (CE); Yiran Shen, MLA; Alison Rauss, MLA; Sarah Peterson, MLA, MS (CE)