Detroit plans a very revitalizing 2016, adding both green & blue infrastructure

In what may be the city’s most ambitious ecological project ever, Detroit, Michigan plans to plant tens of thousands of trees in two quarter-square-mile patches to show how greening strategies can improve life for everyday Detroiters.

Maurice Cox, the city’s director of planning, told the Free Press the project will target two districts: the Fitzgerald neighborhood west of Livernois between Puritan and McNichols, and the area in and around the old Herman Kiefer hospital complex.

Cox said every vacant lot within those quarter-square-mile districts would be either planted with trees or given some other “green” or “blue” treatment — rainwater gardens, fields of sunflowers, urban farms and more.

It would be paid for largely with money from philanthropic foundations. The city will team with the nonprofit Greening of Detroit to get the work done.

The project represents a big bet that embracing green and blue strategies on a major scale will convert Detroit’s vast expanses of vacant and abandoned land — estimated variously at 20 square miles to more than 30 — from a negative to a positive.

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