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Revitalizing Detroit — One Lake At A Time?

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(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

sandramcneill Sandra McNeill
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Sandra McNeill...
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DETROIT (WWJ) – Supporters say it could be the answer to cleaning up blight in Detroit — and easing the city’s overloaded sewer system. It involves an idea to create lakes in neighborhoods.  Yes, neighborhoods.

Driving through an area northeast of Eastern Market there is an empty house, its windows all broken out.  Next door there is a home that may be occupied, but the rest of the street was just a field of grass.

It’s one of the areas that Landscape Architect Chris Reed thinks could play home to a lake, complete with plants that clean the water.

“We would be diverting water from entering the drains into these recessions, vacant parcels, to allow the water to collect,” Reed said.

Reed envisions up to 100 of the large ponds.

“There’s a lot of engineering work to do and how we work in and around some of the existing buildings, but we really foresee something that on the one hand can be quite small and intimate — on the other hand can be fairly sizeable.”

The lakes are part of strategic long-term planning for the city by the Detroit Works Project, a group of engineers, planners, residents and community stakeholders who started working together two years ago at the direction of Mayor Dave Bing to set short and long-term goals to improve the quality of life in Detroit by addressing neighborhood revitalization, land use, and jobs.

More than 10,000 Detroiters have attended meetings to weigh in during the early stages of goal setting. The strategic framework plan is set to be approved by late October.

The group is accepting feedback online; Click here for more on the Detroit Works Project

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