Detroit releases plan to address city’s sustainability issues
Detroit took an important step towards entering the 21st century by releasing its Sustainability Action Agenda to address the city’s numerous sustainability issues. The 55-page report, produced by the city’s Office of Sustainability, outlines ways to improve the health, environment, and resiliency of Detroit and its residents.
“Sustainability” means a number of different things to people. It has obvious environmental implications, but it can also relate to economic sustainability, like not making enough money to afford housing. For Detroiters, the latter is often a more pressing need, and the agenda reflects those priorities.
The Sustainability Action Agenda is divided into four buckets:
- Healthy, thriving people
- Affordable, quality homes
- Clean, connected neighborhoods
- Equitable, green city
Within each are various action items. Under bucket one, for example, there’s “expand local air quality monitoring system,” with a plan of launching two new monitoring efforts, on top of the three already installed in Southwest Detroit. Each item has a timeline of implementation, almost all of which are less than five years.
In total, there’s 43 action items. Some other examples include “improve access to utility efficiency programs,” “expand green jobs training and workforce development programs,” and “develop an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy.”
A major goal of the agenda is to reduce landfill waste. Through an additional $1 million in funding, the city already plans on expanding its recycling program by adding multifamily and commercial properties, launching a recycling education campaign, and providing recycling options in public places like parks.
“The actions outlined in this agenda will collectively have a powerful positive impact for Detroit residents by improving the health of residents, reducing utility costs, providing better access to city services, and ensuring that residents can survive and thrive through the impacts of climate change,” said Joel Howrani Heeres, the city’s director of sustainability.
The Office of Sustainability is small. To help with implementation, it created a Sustainability Advisory Commission made up of representatives of relevant community groups and organizations, as well as an Interdepartmental Working Group of city officials.
The city also says it reached nearly 7,000 residents during its engagement period.
The Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda was released in Summer 2019 as the result of a year-long process involving community engagement, interdepartmental collaboration, and research. As the first sustainability plan for the City, it outlines a strategic roadmap to create a more sustainable city where all Detroiters thrive and prosper in an equitable, green city; have access to affordable, quality homes; live in clean, connected neighborhoods; and work together to steward resources.
- Download the summary of the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda
- Download the full Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda
We focused on engaging a diverse array of Detroiters in every neighborhood across the city – with a particular emphasis on communities historically underrepresented in planning processes. We reached thousands of Detroiters and heard their feedback on the challenges faced by residents and businesses, opportunities to improve quality of life, and suggestions on how to build a more sustainable city. Read more.
Detroit's Sustainability Framework
To achieve our vision, the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda works to achieve 4 outcomes, with Healthy, Thriving People placed firmly at the heart of our work and building out to include Affordable, Quality Homes; Clean, Connected Neighborhoods; and anEquitable, Green City. Across these outcomes we are committed to achieving 10 goals and implementing 43 actions to address many of the most pressing challenges facing Detroiters today.
Implementation and Accountability
As part of our commitment to transparency, the Agenda outlines how we will track our progress moving forward. Each Goal is linked to quantifiable Indicators with 5-year (2024) and 10-year (2029) targets to measure progress toward our longer-term goals. A full list of those numbers and targets can be found below, and we will also publicly report on our progress on our Sustainability Dashboard.
The achievement of our vision will require the leadership and coordination of all City of Detroit departments. We include detailed information on each Action, like lead departments, partners and funding status, in the Implementation Table linked below.
Sustainability Dashboard (coming soon)Explore the Goals and Actions
Table summary of all actions in the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda, including their leads, partners, and time frames.
Table summary of all indicators that will be tracked to mark progress of the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda.
4 page summary of the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda.
Strategic roadmap developed by the City of Detroit Office of Sustainability to create a more sustainable Detroit.
This Framework, from the 2019 Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda, is a strategic roadmap to create a more sustainable city.
The Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda was released in Summer 2019 as the result of a year-long process involving community engagement, interdepartmental collaboration, and research. As the first sustainability plan for the City, it outlines a strategic roadmap to create a more sustainable city where all Detroiters thrive and prosper in an equitable, green city; have access to affordable ...