Making Vacant Lots Work for Detroit
Tooles Contracting Group was selected to complete this pilot and innovative project for the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department in the Cody Rouge neighborhood. Removing Detroit’s blighted structures has the positive effect of revitalizing neighborhoods and provides a unique opportunity for local partners to design the cleared parcel using approaches that generate environmental, social, and economic benefits. Designs to build ecosystem services on demolished sites through green infrastructure practices have the potential to beautify a neighborhood while reducing the amount of storm water entering Detroit’s combined sewer system.
A University of Michigan Water Center research team collaborated with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), the Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA), and Cody Rouge neighborhood organizations to create an innovative form of green infrastructure (GI) for vacant properties in Detroit. The new forms of GI developed in this collaborative project used attractive plants and healthy soils on vacant land to soak up and store storm water and enhance neighborhood’s quality of life. In the Warrendale neighborhood of Cody Rouge, four “bioretention gardens” were constructed on sites where abandoned homes were demolished by the City.
The Work consisted of incorporating bioretention on four vacant parcels to treat the stormwater runoff from the residential roads and involved grading, concrete work, manhole and sewer installation, plantings and restoration.