Improve Your Lot!
Detroit is losing population, but we learned that many people who stuck it out have started to spread out by taking vacant land next to their homes.
Tobias Armborst, Daniel D'Oca, Georgeen Theodore
Improve Your Lot! began as a winning entry to Archplus’s “Shrinking Cities” International Ideas competition (in collaboration with CUP). It is an ongoing investigation into the ways in which Detroit residents take advantage of shrinkage by “Improving their lot.”
More specifically, it is a study of what we call blots: larger lots that are formed when homeowners take, borrow, or buy adjacent lots. In the project, Interboro offers what is essentially an epilogue to the familiar narrative of abandonment. It says that increasingly, those who have chosen to stick it out have chosen to spread out (that is, they have made blots), and that this is probably a good thing. Improve Your Lot! is Interboro's attempt to document this phenomenon, think through and envision some its implications, and finally invent mechanisms to help it along a little.