Land Use & Sustainability

What We Do

Detroit Future City’s Land Use & Sustainability department works to foster equity and sustainability in Detroit neighborhoods. In partnership with community and civic leaders, we deliver training and technical assistance, facilitate community change initiatives, and develop recommendations for effective open space policy and practices.

We are a leader in promoting the use of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) through our work with the Land and Water Works Coalition and our own consulting services. Through our Working with Lots Program, we have supported the implementation of more than 50 open space projects throughout Detroit neighborhoods, helping residents through grants and technical assistance to transform vacant lots into productive landscapes.

How To Engage:


Our Land Use & Sustainability department offers a range of customized training and support for open space and green stormwater projects in Detroit. It also facilitates, manages, and leads a select number of community change initiatives, and produces research publications related to vacant land transformation. Let us know how we can work together to advance equitable land use in Detroit. Click here to learn more

Upcoming Events:

Open Space Working Group

DFC convenes a diverse group of organizations and individuals interested in promoting an integrated open space system in Detroit. Through bi-monthly working group meetings, DFC helps promote knowledge sharing, collaboration, and land use innovation. Topics covered include parks, greenways, urban agriculture, reforestation, green stormwater infrastructure, and much more. Click here to sign up for more information

The Field Guide to Working with Lots

The Field Guide to Working with Lots is a user-friendly tool to connect Detroit residents, businesses, and institutions to resources to learn, collaborate, and better practice land stewardship in Detroit. This step-by-step guide provides readers with instructions on how to transform vacant land in their neighborhoods into 38 landscape designs ranging from installation by beginning gardeners to professional contractors.
Read More

Explore Our Publications

Our tools and publications provide practical advice for transforming vacant land into useful, productive open space. Explore ideas for creating community gathering spaces, planting rain gardens to capture stormwater, using “depaving” strategies to reduce drainage fees, and much more.
Read More

Featured Report

Since 2017, Detroit Future City has convened and coordinated the Land and Water Works Coalition, a collaboration of 10 non-profit organizations working to improve water quality through public education and green stormwater infrastructure projects. A recent Impact Report details the work of the coalition, which has reached out to more than 41,000 Detroiters to transform the public’s understanding of the city’s water infrastructure and restore their connection to our land and water.
Read the Report


Detroit Strategic Framework
Economic Equity Dashboard