The challenge and opportunity of 21,718 vacant lots

The Motor City Mapping project provides city-wide mapping of structures and vacant lots, including those in City Council District 6 and those in various neighborhoods of District 6, such as Southwest, Delray, Springwells Village, Mexicantown and Hubbard Farms and Corktown.

We warned you that the site is still under construction. Here`s a look at the early stages of a reporting assignment:

Explore one dimension of the Blight report released recently from the point of view of a (mostly) blank slate: the 21,718 vacant lots in City Council District 6. As you drill down into the stats available at you discover all sorts of angles worthy of Detroit143`s attention.

One advantage of starting with the number of vacant lots in District 6 is that it provides overall context for Detroit143`s area of focus, and because it`s a topic with more hopeful dimensions than the number of fire-damaged structures in District 6 (993), for example. That number (and those structures) are worthy of our pursuit, too, but for starters we want to include some topics that can include creating something new as opposed to simply tearing down the old and decrepit.

Several potential angles to the vacant lot story: Turns out that District 6 has a higher proportion of vacant lots than the city as a whole does (42 percent of the 51,369 properties surveyed in District 6, compared with the 114,033 vacant lots city-wide (about 30 percent of the 377,602 properties surveyed).

About 5 percent of District 6`s vacant lots have dumping on them (which is about the same percentage of dumped-on vacant lots city-wide). Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision has a plan to get rid of illegally-dumped tires, among other things, and public officials in the district - Raquel Casteneda-Lopez, Rico Razo, Rashida Tlaib, among others - are also focused on this issue).

One of Detroit143`s first stories points up two striking examples of opportunities created by vacant lots in southwest. What are some others? And what are some challenges?


About Bill Mitchell'
Bill Mitchell is a co-founder of Detroit143. You can read more about him here.

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