“Urban farms, gardens, reforestation all part of Detroit Works vision for remaking city.
John Gallagher. May 8, 2012
Faced with growing vacancy in the city, Mayor Dave Bing’s Detroit Works long-term planning team is moving closer to recommending a set of diverse options for remaking Detroit’s neighborhoods.
In an interview with the Free Press, planning team leaders say they envision some neighborhoods remaining traditional residential while others evolve toward open land used for storm-water retention ponds, urban farms and energy production.
The slate of draft ideas for community debate moves the process toward a future discussion of specific ideas for specific neighborhoods.
Some areas, such as the city’s Indian Village or Palmer Woods neighborhoods, might continue to thrive as areas of single-family residences. Other districts suffering considerable vacancy might transition to what the team calls “green residential,” a mix of homes and small community gardens or parks.
Still other neighborhoods that are almost entirely abandoned might be used for reforestation or experimental fields where sunflowers and other plants could be used to detoxify contaminated land.
The team leaders emphasized that residents and community groups will play a major role in deciding what happens in their districts.
“They have the authorship as to what tool is applied where,” said Dan Kinkead, an architect and planner with Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates who is part of the technical team.
Menu of options
The draft ideas are just a menu of options for discussion. They are not attached to any specific districts in the city.
The team is expected to produce a final report by late summer, offering options for residents and civic leaders to consider rather than strict recommendations about what should happen where.
“There is room for a broad spectrum of interventions to be played out,” said Toni Griffin, a City College of New York professor of urban planning who co-chairs the Detroit Works technical team developing the list of options.
Karla Henderson, Bing’s group executive for planning and facilities, said the mayor and his aides are looking forward to receiving the report from the planning team.
“We’re very interested in what comes out of the community conversations and how that aligns with some of (the team’s) recommendations,” Henderson said Monday. Once the report is done, work can then begin on deciding what options should be implemented and how that might take place, she said.”
Via: Detroit Free Press
Photo: AMYLEANG/DETROIT FREE PRESS