Ecodistricts could redefine Detroit’s neighborhoods

Detroit is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the concept of ecodistricts. As outlined in the Detroit Blight Task Force report of May 2014, over one-third of the city of Detroit is considered blighted; and the city is projecting the possibility of the largest tax foreclosure of any city anywhere in 2015.

That presents two sides of the issue, both the challenges and the opportunities.

The challenges are obvious—one third of the city is blighted, significantly eroding the city’s tax base; blight removal is essential, and actively underway, to ensure that those neighborhoods that remain occupied remain viable.

Yet blight removal does not account for what happens to the land after the blighted structures have been removed; and because of the staggering amount of vacant land, the challenge is what to consider when thinking about repurposing such a significant amount of open space.

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