Vacant lots decrease surrounding property values
The City of Detroit knows better than most that vacant land quickly becomes a liability: not only does it require upkeep and policing, but it also lowers the value of surrounding properties in the neighborhood. For the city, these problem plots present a twofold reduction in tax revenue – both from the vacant lot and the depressed neighborhood.
Solution: Plant a community garden
Residents of Detroit are taking back the land around them, turning vacant plots into orchards, vegetable gardens, and even organic farms. They are reporting lower crime rates in neighborhoods with community gardens, and one reclaimed lot can start a ripple effect that inspires neighbors to take care of their vacant land. Many parts of Detroit are food deserts, and these gardens provide affordable fresh produce where it is desperately needed. The City of Detroit has launched programs to sell vacant land parcels for $100 to locals who promise to improve them and pay property taxes. This urban agriculture movement is sparking a slow renewal of a city in desperate decline.
- Popular Resistance | Hidden Benefits of Community Gardens
- Spectre Footnotes | Downtown Rural Detroit
- Michigan Radio | Detroit Residents Might Get Vacant Lots for $100
- Is there a vacant, overgrown lot in your neighborhood? Organize your own community garden
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