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In-depth data and studies featuring the work of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund

Urban Farmers' Experiences with Land Acquisition: Insights from the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund

Written by the following through University of Michigan Dearborn: Tepfirah Rushdan, Alexis Kott, Jennifer Marchio, Christopher Cespedes, Hussein Elsebaei, and Zach Pousak

This report will review the land acquisition process in Detroit through an analysis of data collected by the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund (DBFLF). We aim to understand the hurdles faced by urban farmers in acquiring and maintaining land ownership, such as extended timeframes, cost variations, and data management within the land purchasing process. We seek to provide useful recommendations aimed at fostering a more equitable and accessible land acquisition process in relation to the Detroit Land Bank’s various programs.


Experiences of Detroit Farmers

Written by the following through University of Michigan Dearborn: Zach Pousak, Hussein Elsebaei, Jennifer Marchio, Christopher Cespedes, Tepfirah Rushdan, and Alexis Kott

This report examines the state of urban agriculture in Detroit and the experiences of Detroit farmers in acquiring property from the City through the landbank. Through interviews with urban farmers affiliated with the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund and a review of scholarly literature, we examined the history of urban agriculture in the city, the community-led initiatives, policy evolution, and the resilience of practitioners amidst long purchasing processes. Urban farmers in Detroit face significant hurdles, including access to land, soil contamination, and bureaucratic barriers (Leonard, 2018). Our findings suggest that addressing the systemic challenges of land acquisition and improving the transparency and efficiency of administrative processes are crucial for the continued growth of urban agriculture in Detroit. Recommendations include streamlining procedures, prioritizing community ownership, and addressing soil contamination issues to enable more equitable access to land. Implementing these recommendations could significantly enhance the productivity of urban agriculture and its contributions to community development and food security in Detroit.

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