Detroit Green Infrastructure Projects

Project Overview

The Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Project – Near East Side will deploy green infrastructure to manage and retain stormwater in areas outlined by the Lower East Side Action Plan (LEAP) and RecoveryPark. The projects are located within the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s East Jefferson district that experiences combined sewer overflows to the Detroit River. Lawrence Tech will monitor the impact of these green infrastructure treatments on stormwater runoff to the combined sewer system. 

Project Brief:  Detroit Future City

DFC GI Timeline

Lawrence Tech will monitor and model the effectiveness of green infrastructure in Detroit to determine volume of stormwater managed and cost vs. benefits of green infrastructure in stormwater management. 

Project funding is through the Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grants Program with local matching funds provided by The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.

Lawrence Technological University Participants
Dr. Donald Carpenter : Director of the Great Lakes Stormwater Management Institute, leading LTU's efforts to provide pre-construction and post-construction monitoring of runoff to the combined sewer system
Rachel Pieschek : Graduate Research Assistant


The RecoveryPark area will include various techniques for managing runoff, including bioswales, bioretention, and other green infrastructure. Approximately 32-acres compose the drainage area which will be managed by green infrastructure techniques. Once the urban agriculture area is developed, the runoff not infiltrated/evapotranspirated through the green infrastructure techniques, will be used for irrigation and urban agriculture. Once that is completed, it is estimated that 100% of the runoff volume (approximately 2 million gallons) from a 2-year; 24-hour event will be removed from the system.

Estimated Runoff Reduction: Approx. 1 million gallons

Site surveying and data collection is underway and further information will be uploaded as the project progresses.


Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP)

In the LEAP area, The Greening of Detroit will deploy green infrastructure in coordination with the community, building off of pilot efforts in the Cody Rouge neighborhood.

LEAP's project is smaller in scale and scope than the RecoveryPark project, but will reduce runoff into the combined sewer system (CSO) upr to approximately 100,000 gallons during a 2-year; 24-hour event (based on a range of GI implementation of 30 to 50 lots). 

Site selection is underway and further information will be updated as the project progresses.

Potential Site:

Potential Site