About our Office


In 2017, Mayor Duggan created the City’s first Office of Sustainability to coordinate and lead the City’s sustainability initiatives and create healthy, green, vibrant, accessible neighborhoods where all Detroiters can contribute and benefit.

What we Do

The Office is responsible for implementing the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda, the City's first sustainability plan, which lays out four Outcomes:

  1. Healthy, Thriving People: Detroiters are at the center of our strategy to create a more sustainable city. While there are many factors that contribute to a person's ability to live a healthy, thriving life, access to economic opportunities and public health are two of Detroiters’ most significant barriers today. We're working to advance equity in City decision making, reduce the digital divide, better monitor air quality, increase access to green space, and provide families with healthier food options.
  2. Affordable, Quality Homes: Housing is key to building healthy and stable residents and communities. As Detroit grows, we must ensure that all residents can afford efficient, quality homes free of hazardous materials. We're partnering with City departments and community partners to improve water affordability, lower energy bills, and reduce lead exposure in homes.
  3. Clean, Connected Neighborhoods: A neighborhood is an ecosystem. It should create balance for everyone and provide for the needs of those that live there. A clean, connected neighborhood offers easy access to stores, greenspaces, fresh food, and jobs. It provides recycling and composting, safe spaces, and beauty that encourages residents to walk and explore. Our inititiatives strengthen that neighborhood ecosystem by transforming vacant land and structures, reducing waste, and improving mobility.
  4. Equitable, Green City: Climate change is expected to increase overall temperatures and precipitation in Detroit and increase the frequency and intensity of precipitation events. This will worsen the heat island and urban flooding challenges that Detroiters already face.
    We can become more equitable and green by both reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and increase our resilience to climate change, with an emphasis on our most vulnerable populations. Our initiatives aim to increase the use of renewable energy and green stormwater infrastructure, improve resident access to services, and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from city operations.

Guiding Principles

These seven key principles informed the creation of the Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda and also shape how this Office does its work.

  • Honoring People and Place: Our work will honor the political, cultural, environmental, and economic contributions of all Detroiters and give their voice priority in our decision-making processes.
  • Prioritizing People: Our work will be oriented to address people's most pressing needs and support them to be resilient.
  • Stewarding the Earth: Our work will acknowledge the interconnected nature of human actions and earth stewardship.
  • Establishing Equity: Our work will strive to ensure everyone is included in realizing the benefits of sustainability in our city by focusing on:
    • Procedural Equity: Inclusive, accessible authentic engagement and representation in processes to develop or implement programs and policies.
    • Distributional Equity: Programs and policies result in fair distribution of benefits and burdens across all segments of our community, prioritizing those with the highest need.
    • Structural Equity: Decision-makers institutionalize accountability; decisions are made with a recognition of the historical, cultural and institutional dynamics and structures that have routinely advantaged privileged groups in society and resulted in chronic, cumulative disadvantage for others.
    • Transgenerational Equity: Decisions consider generational impacts and do not result in unfair burdens on future generations.
    • Racial Equity: Decisions are informed by the historic legacies and perpetuation of racism and disinvestment. Our work will focus on building new legacies of inclusion and racial equity.
  • Acting with Transparency and Accountability: We are committed to sharing progress toward our goals through open, regular, and accessible reporting and community engagement.
  • Driving to Outcomes and Making Data-Driven Decisions: Our work will be informed by the ethical use of data, outcome-oriented and measurable, to ensure we are improving the quality of life for all Detroiters.
  • Collaborating with Partners and Stakeholders: Our work will be developed and implemented in partnerships with a broad array of partners within, across, and outside of government.