Blexting smartphone app to help fight blight In Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit is on the road to recovery, but getting to the finish line is going to require paving a path thru the city's blight.

One Detroit's east side, there is hope in the harts of those living on Charleston Street. A street with quaint homes and a community garden. But then, you run into blight.

"Everybody is trying to revive and do things over," said John Young. "We have just a few dark spots, like this house right here, and that house over there."

City leaders are on a mission to get rid of blight. It's a daunting task. There are nearly 115,000 vacant lots, 80,000 vacant structures and countless pies of illegally dumped debris. 

To battle blight, they need accurate information. That's where technology comes in. 

Tech savvy folks with several organizations, including Motor City Mapping and Data Driven Detroit, came up with a cell phone app which will allow people to share real time information about their neighborhood. It's referred to as "blexting."

"The information is so crucial, it drives all of our decisions at the Detroit Land Bank." said Senior Advisor Carrie Lewand-Monroe. "We've used Motor City Mapping to understand exactly what is happening on the ground, understand which neighborhoods in the city are strongest, and be able to target those neighborhoods for our nuisance abatement program or for demo activities."

To find out more about the Blexting app visit www.motorcitymapping.org .

Mini-grants are also being offered to eligible applicants interested in assisting the resurveying of parcels using the Blexting application.  You can find out more about the program at www.datadrivendetroit.org .

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