Graham Sustainability Institute

Exploring Agriculture as a Vacant Land Use Solution in Saginaw, Michigan

March 2021

With over 6,000 vacant land parcels, the City of Saginaw’s tax base is burdened by the cost of maintaining these lots over the four seasons. At the same time, many residents experience limited access to fresh produce. This Dow Fellows team, in partnership with the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy (SBLC), holistically evaluated the feasibility of urban agriculture as a solution for vacant land and food access in the city from a community, policy, and spatial analysis perspective. The results of their comprehensive work will be used by SBLC to plan alternative uses for vacant land, including urban agriculture. If implemented in Saginaw, an equitably managed urban agriculture program could provide a host of benefits to the community including fresh food access, neighborhood beautification, and relationship building.