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Approaches to Neighborhood-Led Green Infrastructure in Detroit

Approaches to Neighborhood-Led Green Infrastructure in Detroit

Program: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program
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A bioretention garden manages stormwater in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit.

(Dow Fellows Program 2017)

The City of Detroit has struggled to communicate the complex fee structure to property owners, which has led to increased concern about how fees are calculated and how increases in fees may affect property owners. Residential property owners are eligible to receive credits toward drainage fees if they implement specific stormwater management projects. The stormwater interventions associated with the credit system are designed to be paid for and implemented by individual property owners, which may be feasible for some but may prove difficult for others. This project, in collaboration with Michigan Community Resources (MCR) and Eastside Community Network (ECN), explored whether a collective, place-based approach to green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) installations could result in joint stormwater credits towards fees in residential neighborhoods. Through extensive meetings with key stakeholders and community organizations, this project explored the benefits and drawbacks of residential GSI governance models. This project serves as an introductory study of collective, residential GSI models. The aim is for the result to motivate DWSD to incorporate jointly managed GSI projects into their stormwater fee and credit systems.