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Bridging the Gap: Planning for Neighborhood Quality of Life in Southwest Detroit


The Gordie Howe International Bridge, spanning Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI is expected to increase large-truck traffic in Southwest Detroit neighborhoods, leading to growth in noise, air pollution, and traffic hazards following its 2024 opening. The bridge will also increase industrial-land conversion for freight-generating businesses within Delray, the Detroit neighborhood that will house the bridge’s Port of Entry. These challenges stand to exacerbate the systemic inequality and environmental injustices that  have long been prevalent in the area.

In partnership with the Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition, this research investigates urban planning, design, and policy approaches to safeguard resident quality of life throughout Southwest Detroit, in anticipation of the bridge’s construction. To develop a plan, students focused on three primary areas of concern:  trucking-related land use, truck routes near residential blocks and air and noise pollution mitigation. The report integrates these three analyses into a set of implementable recommendations targeting action by municipal, regional, state, and international bodies.


Jonathan Levine, Eric Dueweke


Andong Chen, Yichen Chen, Augusta Gudeman, Liz Gunden, Christopher Rodriguez, Ruben Shell, Siyi Song, Ben Stacey, Peter Swinton, Peiwei Wu, Tian Xie


  • Community Partner: Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition
  • Location: Detroit
  • Pages: 108
  • Year: 2019
  • Topics: Transportation, Land Use
Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning