Hosting two active steel mills, Michigan’s only oil refinery, the interchange of three major freeways, the busiest international border crossing between the US and Canada, and a section of the NAFTA highway that sees the highest proportion of truck traffic in Southeast Michigan, Southwest Detroit is no stranger to environmental and public health issues.
Carving out a 1.55 square mile footprint of the larger Southwest Detroit area, the Southwest Detroit Eco-D Partnership has initiated engagement efforts for this area, with the intention of expanding those efforts over the next several years. This specific area is home to 11,616 residents, with about half of this population either under the age of 18 or over the age of 65. While Southwest Detroit faces it’s challenges, it’s among the most vibrant and densely populated areas of the city of Detroit.
Southwest Detroit has gathered support from both residents, businesses and community partners for several environmental efforts in the neighborhood. For example, early in 2018, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision partnered with a group of students from University of Michigan to undergo a study of green infrastructure feasibility, mapping and community. Continuing these efforts and with the resources and added support of Eco-D, they hope to improve health and quality of life for those living in their community. Their goal is to create a formal ‘green plan’ for Southwest Detroit, complete with green stormwater infrastructure, pocket parks, murals, and community gardens.