Unmistakably Detroit

The places and people that make Detroit unique

Neighborhood Spotlight – Brightmoor

Brightmoor has seen it’s share of bad press and has not had a great reputation for a while. It has been known for crime, abandoned buildings and blight. However, people are working hard to change that. But can the perception that everyone has of this neighborhood change too?

The Brightmoor neighborhood is about four square miles in size. It was originally created to provide inexpensive housing for migrant workers back in the 1920s. It provided low cost housing for many families – families that were living in shantytowns prior to their homes’ completion. It was affordable and held promise and potential for those that lived here. Unfortunately, over the next several decades the population decreased and crime came in to fill the void.

Now organizations want to come in and restore the neighborhood and help it live up to its potential. Organizations like Detroit Blight Authority and the Brightmoor Alliance are working towards building a better community.

The Detroit Blight Authority began fighting blight in 2013. Since 2014, 200 structures have been removed from Brightmoor to fight blight. These have been turned into areas for community use and gardens.

The Brightmoor Alliance is a group of close to 50 organizations that are working to serve the community. This organization was established in 2000 to respond to the poor conditions in this neighborhood: vacant land and abandoned houses, high crime rates and dilapidated housing.  They are working to make Brightmoor a place where a family can live in safety and comfort. One of the most promising things is that their plan is happening with input from those still in the neighborhood. Their mission and plans to Restore the ‘Moor are ambitious but possible.

Brightmoor’s mission:

Brightmoor is an innovative community where people, especially of modest means, can live, learn, work, commune, recreate and worship in a safe, healthy, culturally diverse and sustainable environment.

These organizations aren’t alone in the fight. Neighbors Building Brightmoor is an organization of people that are working to revitalize the community. They help organize and coordinate many events in the area that support the growth and renewal of the neighborhood.

Another weapon that the people of Brightmoor are employing to take back their neighborhood is gardening. They are using gardens to take over abandoned space and also bring in money for their efforts. Take some time to visit the Brightmoor Artisan’s Community Kitchen.

Or if you’re interested, check out this Brightmoor Kitchen cookbook.

Brightmoor is definitely changing and there are a lot of people working to make it happen. We’re looking forward to seeing what this promising community will turn into.


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