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DAVIS: Alley Activation Project

Activating residential alleyway, garages, and open spaces to connect residents and neighbors to larger transit options.

Photo of Korey Batey
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Blighted Detroit alleyways have been the home to illegal dumping for over 25 years in some areas and a major contributor to the higher crime rate in those areas. The alley activated project connects people and neighborhoods together through internal neighborhood greenways. Repurposing what use to be a eyesore into a community asset once again. Civic engagement is further encouraged through this project by helping homeowners start small businesses within their garages with improvements to the property. Our solution is to connect the neighborhoods in cork town through alleyways to connect with the Joe Louis Greenway. A 39-mile bike trail will connect Detroit with surrounding cities and provide more opportunities for people living in cork town. 

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

Residents that will be abiding activated alleys could look forward to the following benefits: 1. Blight Free Community creating a safer and cleaner environment 2. Bike Trail through alleyways connecting to larger transit options 3. Easier access for a utility worker to access down power lines 4. Art Installations to enhance community history and branding 5. Better Lighting to increase visibility and decrease break-ins that occur in the neighborhood 6. Tool Sharing Library to maintain stewardship of the properties in the neighborhoods 7. Forming of a community block club to increase civic engagement and sustain project over time. 8. Property values will increase and more families will begin to move into the area 8.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Some of the insight is as followed: 1. Block Club Organizations are more effective when creating a voice for the residents apart of our pilot project 2. Volunteers are always looking to connect with groups in Detroit for cleanup projects 3. Partnering with other organizations that are doing similar work helps to increase your reach in the community and the ability to deliever 4. People in the community are looking for something creative and new to inspire the youth in our community.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Detroit Aint Violent It's Safe (DAVIS) is a nonprofit organization based in Detroit and founded in 2018. Year to date we have led over 20,000 volunteers throughout Detroit on various cleanup projects. DAVIS works with key stakeholders and community organizations to promote projects and programming that are innovative and safe for families in Detroit.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • Yes

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Rough Budget for Alley Activation Project Block Club Development-$1000 Social Gathering Events- $2000 Alley Improvement (Pavement, Lighting, Security Devices)-$80,000 Land Acquisition-$2000 Vacant Lot improvements-$20,000 Tool Sharing Library-$15,000 Home Improvement Credits (Fencing and Garages)-$55,000 Planning and Designing-$25,000 Art Installations-$25,000 Beautification-$25,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Our pilot project would first start with surveying communities within the target area that would be interested in piloting the alley activation project. Communities would be reached through various alley cleanup projects and community gathering events. After the neighborhood that will participate is chosen we help to establish a block club in that community with boundaries including neighborhoods with abiding alleys. Block club would then work with designers, local artist and builders to plan out the look of the alley and the art to be included for implementation. After the plan is established DAVIS will work to establish a tool sharing library within vacant lots providing the necessary tools to maintain stewardship of this project. Alley Improvements would be the last phase of our pilot project.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

This pilot project would study three main categories to measure success: 1. Crime Rate- Our alley activation first look at creating a more safer and visible community to attract new homeowners and discourage criminal activity 2. New Home Owners- with a cleaner environment and safer neighborhoods those looking to call Detroit home could now purchase the vacant homes within the boundaries helping to increase the property values of the community. 3. New Small Business Owners- this project encourages homeowners with various skills or talents to provide services to neighbors in abiding garages of the activated alleys.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Through the development of the block club and a tool sharing library, we look to equip the community with the proper tools and resources to maintain stewardship over the land and the property. We also look to connect these activated alleys with Sponsors that could provide further sustainability and support for the people in the community.

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Photo of Ingridium G

Hey Korey,
I sat near you at a FORD Mobility event where you spoke about your work / experiences. Last week I visited the East Warren Tool Library and Joshua detailed how Motor City Grounds Crew cleaned 6 miles of alleys in Fitzgerald. I like the uniqueness of your idea and think I may be able to add value to your concept. Hit me up any time. Let's connect.

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