University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Public Land Disposition in Michigan Cities

Margaret Dewar, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
Rochelle Lento, Law School, University of Michigan

Professors Dewar and Lento received funding through CLOSUP's Major Projects Program (FY 2004) to support this project on issues related to the disposition of public land in Michigan cities.

Abstract:
In Detroit and several other Michigan cities, city, state, and county governments own large amounts of land, much of it vacant. Despite pressures from developers who want to reuse the land, the stock of property in public ownership remains very large. Literature on urban redevelopment does not explain the persistence of this phenomenom. This project will explain Detroit's land disposition challenges through comparison with Cleveland's and Flint's experience. Work on design and implementation of a land bank and on improvement of existing land disposition processes will contribute to policy making and to understanding how pressures for redevelopment can fail to overcome dysfunctional governmental systems.

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