Detroit has a lot of vacant land. That much, you’ve probably heard by now. On Sunday, the Detroit Free Press took a look at efforts to put that land to use, and along the way, the paper rounded up some eye-popping statistics you might not have heard:
- There are more than 100,000 vacant residential lots in the city of Detroit.
- If you include commercial property, nearly a third of the city is vacant.
- If you put all of the vacant land together, the entire city of Paris could fit inside.
- The vacant land could also fit 25,000 football fields.
- Only 40% of the real estate parcels in the entire city have owners who pay their property taxes on time.
- Over the past 30 years in Detroit, 10 residential structures were demolished for every one that was built.
There are plenty of people who want to put this vacant land to use. But that’s proving more complicated than it sounds, thanks especially to a law passed by Michigan voters in 2006.