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MASTER'S PROJECT: Innovations for LEAP GI: Green Infrastructure Analysis, Design and Application in Detroit’s Lower East Side


Summary of Project Idea:
This project applied social science knowledge of landscape cues to care and perceived safety to design green infrastructure best management practices (BMPs) for urban stormwater in Detroit.  Detroit suffers from frequent combined sewer overflow (CSO) events.  It also has a high proportion of abandoned property and vacant land, where structures have been demolished, and many ongoing property demolitions.  Working closely with leaders of the Lower East Side Action Plan for Detroit, the team designed novel BMP's to use the extensive vacant land as well as ongoing demolitions as part of green infrastructure that incorporate non-stormwater benefits, enhancing perceptions of personal safety and amenity landscape character in the most vacant neighborhoods of Detroit.

The team designed green infrastructure innovations to optimize "within block" infiltration, evapotranspiration, detention and retention; anticipate transport of urban contaminants; minimize costs; and plan for long-term maintenance of the installations.  The team then conducted a spatial analysis to identify the location and capacity for runoff retention and CSO volume reduction for stormwater treatment of these BMP's throughout the city.  Finally, we developed specific applications of these BMP's for two proof-of-concept sites within the Lower Eastside of Detroit.

Research Areas
Urban Systems and Built Environment