Blots, or Blotting


(Image credit: StructureHub)

I started hearing about blots and blotting late last year, first via a couple posts I found on Shrinking Cities (here and here) and then most recently via a story on NPR. Both sources feature stories about the de-densifying city of Detroit. Interboro claims credit for coining the term “blotting” about eight years ago.

According to Shrinking Cities, “the use of ‘blots’, or ‘side lot expansions’, is a technique that gives homeowners with vacant land adjacent to their home the opportunity to purchase that property as an expansion to their own for a nominal cost.”

The NPR story cites a startling statistic – in Detroit, it’s estimated that up to 40 square miles of land sits vacant.To give a sense of scale,the entire city of San Francisco is about 47 square miles. So both formally and informally, Detroit is encouraging its residents to buy or just sort of annex adjacent properties in order to take care of the properties and stabilize neighborhoods.

Part of our series making sense of eco-lingo and technical terms.
For more, check out our Jargon page.

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