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From vacant lots to vibrant green space, how Detroit is remaking itself

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Abandoned Places.

Anika Goss is a third generation Detroiter. She says her city's future depends on exchanging concrete for green space—and that transformation will lead to both economic gains and climate resilience.

About Anika Goss

Anika Goss is the CEO of Detroit Future City (DFC), a think-and-do tank focused on land use, sustainability, economic equity and community development in Detroit, Michigan. She leads a team of experts implementing a 50-year guide to decision-making and investment in Detroit. She also led the development of several significant research studies, including "Growing Detroit's African-American Middle Class" in 2019 and "The State of Economic Equity in Detroit" in 2021, as well as a web-based dashboard that tracks economic equity in Detroit and the surrounding region.

Her organization has invested more than $2.5 million toward the acceleration of vacant land revitalization through green infrastructure in Detroit by developing tools and resources, educational programming, research and direct project support of community-led green space projects. This work has developed a network of more than 120 resident leaders and nonprofits equipped and focused on this collaborative effort.

Katrina Watkins is CEO of the Bailey Park Neighborhood Development Corporation, based in the McDougal-Hunt area of Detroit. There she leads urban renewal projects and organizes community programming – at the heart of their work is the new Bailey Park. The corporation has found success through partnerships with organizations like Detroit Future City.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Matthew Cloutier and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour and Rachel Faulkner White. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Matthew Cloutier
Matthew Cloutier is a producer for TED Radio Hour. While at the show, he has focused on stories about science and the natural world, ranging from operating Mars rovers to exploring Antarctica's hidden life. He has also pitched these kinds of episodes, including "Through The Looking Glass" and "Migration."
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Rachel Faulkner White
Rachel Faulkner is a producer and editor for TED Radio Hour.