This map was published in Discussion Paper No. 1 from the Detroit Geographical Expedition led by William Bunge. It is interesting to see that the areas with the highest percentage of deteriorating or dilapidated houses are focused in areas at the time that were predominately low-income and minority communities. Today those same areas of Detroit are the focus of massive development along the Woodward Corridor, Corktown, Southwest, and along the Riverfront.
This is an important map as independent groups, led by Dan Gilbert, attempt to tear down every vacant structure in the city. In 2009, the Detroit Residential Parcel Survey helped inform Mayor Bing’s initiative to tear down 10,000 blighted structures even though the DRPS recommended that only 3,480 needed to be demolished. Mayor Bing was able to demolish 8,966 structures during his term. Now the Motor City Mapping initiative (Loveland Technologies & Data Driven Detroit), funded by the independent Blight Authority is completing a repeat survey and including every single structure in the city.
“Maybe I’m out of my mind, which I am for various reasons,” he said. “You get these structures down and, I mean, all of them, not most of them, all of them.” – Dan Gilbert