Wayne County, Michigan received an EPA Area-Wide Planning Grant to study over 100 acres of brownfield sites resulting from the impending closure of the DTE Energy Rouge River Power Plant in 2020. The study area encompasses the DTE Power Plant site as the catalyst site and additional brownfield redevelopment sites across the City of River Rouge and a portion of Southwest Detroit. This project encompassed site analysis, stakeholder and community engagement, and redevelopment planning for the plan.
The project area represents a critical economic opportunity for the region, due to its proximity to both the Detroit and Rouge Rivers, availability of a deep-water port, adjacent manufacturing uses, and the proposed Gordie Howe International Bridge. Currently, over half of the project area’s residents have incomes under the poverty line and are from historically disadvantaged minority backgrounds.
The Landscape Architect led a site selection process that evaluated the environmental conditions, location and context, ownership, community interests, and future use potential of all candidate sites. The final plan focused on five (5) brownfield sites in the project area and the connectivity between them.
Redevelopment within the project area is positioning the sites to create job opportunities, improve quality of life, and improve health and environmental conditions for residents.
In 2019, Wayne County was awarded a $600,000 grant from the EPA for the further assessment of brownfield sites, including sites in River Rouge