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The Delray Project. by Matt Gomez and Aaron Haithcock [email protected] [email protected] Global Change 2. Introduction.

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The delray project l.jpg

The Delray Project

by Matt Gomez and Aaron Haithcock

[email protected]

[email protected]

Global Change 2


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • For the purposes of this project, we wish to examine one of the most polluted areas in the state of Michigan, the Delray neighborhood in Southwest Detroit. We would like to explore ways of changing policy to get current residents away from the contaminated area, and stop new people from moving in.


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Hypothesis

  • We predict that the polluted area of Delray is home to the poorest residents of the city of Detroit, that there is the lowest per capita income, the highest number of elderly persons, and the highest number of non-white ethnic residents.

  • We also predict that despite an astronomical number of complaints from the residents of Delray regarding the various odors, illegal dumping of and rotting garbage, and heavy truck traffic, little change in policy has occurred to help facilitate the needs of these people.


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A Brief History of Delray

  • When Henry Ford built many of the factories in this area in the early 1900s, he built many small, single story houses right next to them so that his workers could easily walk to work.

  • As a result, almost one hundred years later, residents of this area have the highest number of reported cases of asthma, lung cancer, and emphysema per capita, and frequently complain of headaches, nausea, stomach aches and blurred vision.

  • Children as well as the elderly live here, but most are too poor or too old to move


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Boundaries and Zoning

  • Bound by I-75 to the north, Fort Street to the east, Zug Island to the west and the Detroit River to the south, the Delray neighborhood has historically been a site of heavy industry pocketed by stable residential areas

  • Currently, the Delray area is zoned M4, meaning that it is heavily industrial, and no new housing construction is permitted.


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Racial Composition

• 1,647 individuals live in the area.

• This area is one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in Detroit: 56% African-American, 28% White, 9% Latino and 8% “Other”

• The city’s overall makeup: 86% African-American, 8% Latino, 5% White and 1% “Other”


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Socio-Economic Composition

  • Delray is home to the city’s poorest residents, with a median annual household income of $10,025.

  • Detroit’s median income: $18,472.

  • Approximately 44% of Delray residents live below the poverty level.

  • 32% of the overall population in Detroit lives below the poverty line.


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Problems with Zoning Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • The fact that this area is zoned so that no new housing construction may begin does not mean that new residents cannot move into the houses that remain. All the problems stated herein cause property values to fall sharply, and some distressed properties can be bought for as little as 3,000 dollars, encouraging new people with little income to move here.


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Problems Facing Delray Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Heavy emissions from industrial sites

  • Illegal dumping

  • Rotting Garbage

  • Heavy truck traffic through residential streets

  • Soil contamination

  • Abandoned/vacant sites, both residential, industrial and commercial


Poor air quality l.jpg
Poor Air Quality Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Area has highest rates of asthma, emphysema, lung caner

  • Residents complain of nausea, headaches, burning throat and eyes

  • Houses located adjacent to sites zoned M4, meaning heavily industrial

  • City of Detroit does not fine polluters out of fear they will lose a significant source of the city’s trickling income OR

  • Companies are fined, and they simply continue on with business


Illegal dumping l.jpg
Illegal Dumping Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Only 6 commercial dumping sites in the city, most of which are full and do not get emptied

  • Delray contains the highest number of vacant lots; residents of Detroit and suburbs, and industrial leaders dump in neighborhoods

  • Not enough money to clean any of it


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Truck Traffic Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Ambassador Bridge leads right into Delray neighborhood

  • Many one-way streets, backed-up traffic

  • Creates air and noise pollution

  • Poses danger to children, health risk to all residents


Soil contamination l.jpg
Soil Contamination Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • As garbage from illegal dumping sits and rots, industrial and medical waste contaminates soil

  • Heavy run-off from rain washes contaminated soil over concrete, into Detroit River, further polluting it


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Abandoned Housing, Industrial Sites Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • The city of Detroit cannot afford to demolish many of the vacant houses, industrial and commercial sites, so they are left standing to rot, or become homes to squatters, drug users, and criminals.


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Our Solutions Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • This area must be zoned non-residential, heavy industrial, all empty houses must be demolished and removed, and a retirement center must be built in which to place the elderly of this neighborhood, away from the commercial and industrial zones.

  • Those remaining are encouraged to leave if at all possible, and in fact, we recommend a tax break for those residents if they were to purchase another home somewhere else, so long as it is still within the limits of Detroit Proper.


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Our Solutions Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Second, EPA standards must be strictly enforced. All violators of these standards and those who are caught dumping illegally must be fined heavily. The assets gained from these fines must then be used to open plants that meet the standards, or do not pollute at all. The funds can also be used to build alternative housing for Delray’s current residents. This way, the city will still make money off of new plants, and the area will gradually be replaced with more eco-friendly manufacturing.


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Rerouting Trucks Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • New bridge to help facilitate the heavy truck traffic, and in fact the site under investigation for the bridge is much farther north of Delray, and would not empty into a residential area.

  • New roads that are specifically dedicated to trucks must be built, other than just a new bridge.

  • Many of the more major roads in this area are one-way, and are wide enough to be turned into two-way

  • “NO THRU TRUCKS” signs and strictly enforcing them would help to further solve the problem.


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Summary of Problems Facing Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.the Delray Neighborhood

  • In sum, the biggest problems facing the Delray neighborhood in Southwest Detroit, home to the city’s poorest residents, are poor air quality, soil contamination, heavy truck traffic, and the use of vacant sites as illegal dumping grounds.


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Summary of Solutions Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Empty houses and buildings must be demolished and removed.

  • Heavy monitoring of illegal dumping; those caught must face heavy fines which will help cleanup and build alternate housing; current residents encouraged to leave

  • Truck traffic rerouted to no longer pollute and to no longer pose a danger to children

  • Projects must be initiated before attracting new businesses, industry to the area


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Summary Continued Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Current plants and manufacturers must adhere to state EPA regulations at all costs, and repeat offenders will either be directly shut down, or fined so heavily that they will not be able to operate

  • The money accrued from fines must go to cleaning up vacant lots, sites used for illegal dumping, and to building new roads for trucks to use


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Conclusion Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • If such improvements to the quality of life are not made for the residents of Delray, we will have much more than a contaminated environment; we will have a thousand very ill people, which will end up costing taxpayers dearly in the long run. The problems facing Delray, while immense, are not impossible to reverse.


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Works Cited Detroit, it is one of the most racially diverse, competing only with the Indian Village neighborhood, which is the richest.

  • Andrews, Nancy. The Dirty Detroit River: Manufacturing in the Early Twentieth

    Century. Rochester: Oakland University Press, 1999.

  • Downey, Liam. Spatial Measurement, Geography, and Urban Racial Inequality.

    Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

  • Downey, Liam. “The Unintended Significance of Race: Environmental Racial

    Inequality in Detroit.” Social Forces 83, no. 3 (2003): 971-1007.

  • Doyle, Jack. Taken for a Ride: Detroit’s Big Three and the Politics of Pollution. New

    York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2000.

  • Hunt, George “Wild Celery in the Lower Detroit River.” Ecology 44, no. 2 (1963):

    360-370.

  • Jackson, Arlova. The Delray Redevelopment Initiative: A Vision for Future Use. Ann Arbor:

    The University of Michigan Press, 1997.

  • Kennedy, Chervondria. Delray Detroit: An Urban Catastrophe. Detroit:

    Wayne State University Press, 2002.

  • Sovik, Nathan Arne. The Social Distribution of Industrial Air Pollution in Detroit. Ann

    Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1995.


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