News / USA

Motor City Mapping Project Takes Aim at Detroit Blight

Motor City Mapping Project Takes Aim at Detroit Blighti
X
January 25, 2014 11:34 AM
Urban and industrial blight as a result of Detroit’s economic decline has changed the look of the so-called Motor City and how it is perceived. But a new task force charged with revitalizing the city is spearheading an effort to electronically catalog each troubled property. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the Motor City Mapping Project is on the cutting edge of technology and aims to give city planners a complete look at the task of eliminating blight in Detroit.
Kane Farabaugh
Urban and industrial blight as a result of Detroit’s economic decline has changed the look of the so-called Motor City and how it is perceived.  But a new task force charged with revitalizing the city is spearheading an effort to electronically catalog each troubled property.  The Motor City Mapping Project is on the cutting edge of technology and aims to give city planners a complete look at the task of eliminating blight in Detroit

To many who visit Detroit, the trash-filled lots, run-down houses and abandoned factories are symbols of Detroit’s past prosperity.
 
But Tia Ciara Bonner is able to look beyond the ruins. “As a Detroiter, I want to feel safe.  So I need these abandoned homes knocked down,” she said.
 
Bonner is doing something about it, one run-down block at a time.
 
As part of a three-person crew of surveyors with the Motor City Mapping project, Bonner uses an electronic tablet to describe the condition of each troubled property she examines.
 
“I have saw [seen] more burnt up homes and more empty lots than the houses that are standing,” said Bonner.
 
Detroit Blight Removal Task ForceDetroit Blight Removal Task Force
x
Detroit Blight Removal Task Force
Detroit Blight Removal Task Force
The information the surveyors gather winds up on computers back at Motor City Mapping headquarters, where a team reviews the information, a process called “blexting.”

“Blexting is short for blight texting, so kind of appropriate with the theme,” explained 
Jerry Paffendorf, CEO of Loveland Technologies, the company that designed the blexting software. “As properties are surveyed, they are stored in a database and immediately visualized on a map.  Everything comes in real time, kind of like Twitter,” he added.
 
Paffendorf said surveyors in the field leave no stone unturned. “There’s like 360,000-some properties in the city and, as we sit here, I think we’re at about 180,000, so about half,” he stated.
 
“We’re looking at all structures in the city of Detroit and all vacant land,”  Glenda Price said. Price is co-chair of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force, which oversees the Motor City Mapping Project.  She says the Task Force is bringing local, state, and federal agencies together to tackle the city's blight. The ultimate goal is not just mapping the blight, but eliminating it.
 
“One of the biggest obstacles in achieving that goal is money, because it is going to be costly, so that is why we recognize it will take probably three years, is what we are projecting to have the funds in place that will, in fact, be necessary to do the job,” stated Price.
 
The estimated cost to the city of Detroit to clean up each blighted property is about $5,000 to $10,000.  Once the Motor City Mapping Project wraps up survey work sometime in February, members of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force will have a better idea what it will cost to totally delaminate Detroit’s infamous blight.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid