Eliminating Blight in Detroit's Neighborhoods 

Blight removal is one of the most important steps towards improving quality of life in Detroit and it touches on almost every recommendation in the DFC Strategic Framework.  When well-managed, transforming blight can include the creation of functional open space to stabilize neighborhoods, improve city systems, and provide economic development opportunities.

The Detroit Future City (DFC) Implementation Office is helping tackle blight by informing decision makers, executing research-driven pilot projects to determine best practices, and conducting extensive civic engagement.  
Through our Partial Deconstruction Project in the Springwells neighborhood, we were able to measure the how the partial deconstruction and demolition of 10 blighted structures can create jobs and to what extent these practices release dust, lead and other heavy metals into the air and soil.  These practices, and several other recommendations from the DFC Strategic Framework, were referenced in a recent draft update to the Master Plan of Policies by the DFC Implementation Office, and provided to the City of Detroit.  They were also noted in the recently released Blight Removal Taskforce report. 

Additionally, the DFC Implementation Office held a Blight Bootcamp on Saturday, June 7th to equip the community with the tools and resources to take blight removal into their own hands. And in March we collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to convene a group of local stakeholders and organize a day-long workshop on demolition best practices.

Here is more information about the DFC projects referenced above: Here are some of the DFC Implementation Office’s partner organizations’ blight removal efforts:

DFC's 2014 Blight Bootcamp

Detroit Future City hosted a Blight Bootcamp on Saturday, June 7, attracting more than 200 people. The day-long event had 12 sessions on blight elimination including transforming blight into urban gardens, youth engagement in blight mitigation and data driven decision making. During the day, keynote speakers, Linda Smith, co-chairperson of the Blight Removal Task Force and Charlie Beckham, executive director of the Detroit Department of Neighborhoods gave an overview on how their organizations are taking action to eradicate blight in the city.

This event would be impossible without our community partners. Click here for a full list of these organizations.

DFC Partners with Challenge Detroit for Blight Challenge

Challenge Detroit, a leadership and professional development program, partnered with DFC Implementation Office for their final challenge of the year. The fellows were charged to find solutions for blight elimination in Detroit looking through the lens of the DFC Strategic Framework. Five teams worked in neighborhoods across the city and partnered with community organizations to develop blight elimination ideas ranging from summer youth to community engagement strategies. To conclude this last challenge, the fellows presented an infographic of their presentations on DFC Implementation Office's front windows. This challenge gave the fellows an opportunity to provide on-the-ground solutions that will be instrumental in enriching the work of the city of Detroit and the Blight Removal Task Force’s blight removal efforts in all Detroit neighborhoods.

DFC in the News

The Detroit News: Detroit has the building blocks to re-emerge

Fox 2 News: Denby Students Clean Up Blight

Washington Times: Project Brings 15K Trees to Distressed Detroit

MI Big Show: Ken Cockrel, Detroit Future City at Mackinaw Policy Conference

For daily updates on Detroit Future City and news regarding DFC's priorities like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DFC Partners with College for Creative Studies program

community+public arts: DETROIT (CPAD), a program of the College for Creative Studies, is partnering with the Detroit Future City Implementation Office and The Greening of Detroit to work with artists and four Detroit communities to transform vacant and underused spaces into New Urban Places. 
Learn more about upcoming events and news related to DFC here

Arise Detroit's Neighborhood Day

More than 100 community service and improvement projects will take place in every part of the city. From neighborhood clean ups, health fairs, parades, youth events, concerts and more-- all designed to transform neighborhoods.

To register, visit: or 313-921-1955.

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2990 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202