Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision began in 1991 as a two-year project sponsored by East Michigan Environmental Council and Southwest Detroit Business Association. Its purpose was to initiate a dialogue between Southwest Detroit’s business/industrial interests and community residents. The result was a community plan which focused upon four major topics:
- Abandoned buildings and illegal dumping
- Air quality
- Contaminated sites
- Land use
- In order to implement this plan, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1993. In 2014, SDEV was named Michigan Green Leader by the Detroit Free Press and the Southwest Detroit Business Association Community Leadership Award.