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The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed as "Township 4 North Range 2 West" in February 1827 in what was then dense forest.It was the last of the county's townships to be surveyed, and the land was not offered for sale until October 1830.Those who stayed quickly renamed the area "Lansing Township" in honor of their home village in New York.The settlement of fewer than 20 people would remain dormant until the winter of 1847 when the state constitution required the capital be moved from Detroit to a more central and safer location in the state's interior; many were concerned about Detroit's proximity to British-controlled Canada, which had captured Detroit in the War of 1812.In April 1848, the legislature then gave the settlement the name of "Lansing".) in area was incorporated as a city.The boundaries of the original city were Douglas Avenue to the north, Wood and Regent streets to the east, Mount Hope Avenue to the south, and Jenison Avenue to the west. Lansing began to grow steadily over the next two decades with the completion of the railroads through the city, a plank road, and the completion of the current capitol building in 1878.Over the next decades, the city would be transformed into a major American industrial center for the manufacturing of automobiles and parts, among other industries. By 1956, the city had grown to 15 square miles (39 km Today, the city's economy is diversified among government service, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, banking, and education.

This figure includes two 425 Agreements with Alaiedon Township and Meridian Township, and the four 425 Agreements with Delta Township since 2000.

Not counting the temporary 425 Agreements, Lansing administers 34.1 square miles (88 km) total.

Lansing is located in the south-central part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, where the Grand River meets the Red Cedar River.

In the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it "Biddle City".

This land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year.

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