Posted By Michael Jackman on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 11:27 am
- Illustration by Lee DeVito
- According to the latest junk research, the total vacant land area of Detroit could accommodate three Detroits.
Something amazing happened this morning. I was reading an editorial in The Detroit News and I agreed with it.
The editorial concerned the need to alter local ordinances regarding the keeping of livestock. As city-dwellers know, it’s not unheard-of for people to keep chickens, goats, honeybees, or other animals. And there’s plenty of room for this to happen. The editorial said as much. What was happening here? The local conservative paper was sounding as granola as you can get. I was prepared to see pigs flying out of a frozen-over hell.
And then I saw a quote that brought me back to reality: “Detroit, at 139 square miles, occupies a huge footprint. A third of that land is vacant.”
I did the math, finding that stubborn statistic that finicky Detroitophiles like me have taken issue with time and again. It’s the stubborn, unchecked fact that, despite our best efforts, won’t go away.
If a third of Detroit is vacant, that’s 46 square miles of vacant land.
Yes, that’s true, if you include cemeteries.
And public parks, like Belle Isle and Rouge Park. And every other city park.