More than a third of Detroit’s residential lots are either vacant or contain abandoned buildings, but more than 90% of the remaining occupied parcels are in good or fair condition, according to a massive new report on the city’s housing stock that was released last week.
The survey is a block-by-block analysis of the city that is intended to give city officials, residents, and urban planners data for the nascent debate over whether to shrink the city’s boundaries.
More than 35% of the city’s roughly 350,000 residential parcels are either vacant or house abandoned buildings, said the survey by the Detroit Data Collaborative. About 64% are occupied, and of those, more than 90% are in good or fair condition. Detroit covers 133 square miles and has a population of 900,000.
Mayor Dave Bing said the parcel survey “can serve as a component in the decision-making and strategic process for the city as we look to develop a land-use plan and demolition strategy for the city,” according to local reports.
Bing and several City Council members have said they are in favor of downsizing the city to make it easier to afford improvements to the city’s aging infrastructure and provide services to the more populated neighborhoods.
“The first priority of any plan will be taking down buildings that pose a public safety threat,” Bing said in a statement. “The plan that follows will have broad input from city departments, the community, and land use experts outside city government.”