Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda Framework


In June 2019, the City of Detroit’s Office of Sustainability published the city’s first Sustainability Action Agenda, a strategic roadmap to create a more sustainable city.  In order to develop the agenda, a full year was spent engaging with 6,800 Detroiters to understand their vision for a more equitable, prosperous, and environmentally sustainable city. The city hired 14 sustainability ambassadors, created a Sustainability Advisory Commission, convened an interdepartmental working group of 29 city departments, distributed online and in-person surveys in five languages, and used the coUrbanize digital platform to reach Detroiters online. This engagement helped to define four desired outcomes: Healthy Thriving People Affordable Quality Homes Clean, Connected Neighborhoods An Equitable Green City Across these four outcomes, the city is committed to achieving ten goals and implementing 43 actions collectively called the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda Framework outlined below. Teams have been working over the past two years toward these goals, and recently the city was listed as  #31 of 50 of the greenest cities in the U.S. Amid several challenges and roadblocks, the city teams have worked diligently toward the action items and goals for the past two years. You can view a two-year progress update to read more about the work that’s been done and the success stories. DETROIT SUSTAINABILITY ACTION AGENDA FRAMEWORK FOR HEALTHY THRIVING PEOPLE: Goals & Actions: Increase access to healthy food, green spaces, and recreation opportunities 1. Provide nutrition and environmental education at recreation centers and parks 2. Create local food purchasing guidelines for city-funded programs 3. Improve access to high quality, healthy food at grocery stores 4. Renovate existing and create new parks throughout the city 5. Expand sports recreation opportunities for youth Improve air quality and reduce exposure to pollution 6. Expand local air quality monitoring system 7. Create citywide truck routing network 8. Increase tree plantings in vulnerable areas 9. Reduce emissions from city vehicles Advance equity in access to economic opportunity 10. Expand green jobs training and workforce development programs 11. Prepare Detroit residents for city employment opportunities 12. Launch a digital inclusion program 13. Expand wireless internet access on city buses 14. Launch a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative AFFORDABLE QUALITY HOMES Goals & Actions: Reduce the total costs of housing, including utilities  15. Improve access to utility efficiency programs 16. Expand home plumbing repair programs 17. Implement and expand upon the Blue Ribbon Panel’s water affordability recommendations 18. Establish affordable housing preservation goals for building owners receiving city incentives 19. Increase access to information on existing affordable housing Improve the health and safety of existing and new housing 20. Expand lead poisoning prevention initiatives across the city 21. Create a residential lead abatement training pilot program 22. Develop green building guidelines for new developments receiving city incentives CLEAN CONNECTED NEIGHBORHOODS Transform vacant lots and structures into safe, productive, sustainable spaces 23. Improve processes to purchase city-owned vacant lots 24. Support neighborhood-based efforts to care for vacant lots and structures 25. Develop a fee structure and associated rules for irrigation-only water accounts Reduce waste sent to landfills 26. Launch a citywide recycling campaign 27. Expand curbside recycling to multifamily buildings 28. Expand recycling to public spaces and all city facilities 29. Develop a best practices framework for commercial-scale compost operations 30. Launch residential composting pilot program Make it easier and safer to get around Detroit without a personal vehicle 31. Improve mobility connections between neighborhoods and job centers 32. Implement safety measures to reduce crash severity 33. Expand Detroit’s protected bike lane network EQUITABLE GREEN CITY Enhance infrastructure and operations to improve resilience to climate impacts 34. Create neighborhood scale, distributed green infrastructure projects 35. Incorporate green stormwater infrastructure into street redesign and greenway projects 36. Integrate climate change impacts into hazard mitigation planning 37. Improve resident access to sustainability-related city services 38. Expand emergency preparedness and communication tools  Reduce municipal and citywide greenhouse gas emissions 39. Develop a greenhouse gas assessment and climate action strategy 40. Increase the adoption of solar photovoltaic technologies 41. Enhance energy and water efficiency at city-owned facilities 42. Launch Mayors’ Challenge Program for commercial buildings 43. Develop an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on sustainable business practices in and around Detroit.