Urban Agriculture- Breathing Life into a Dying City. 12 replies

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#1 11 years ago

This is fairly old news, but it's actually managed to go under my radar. A company named Hantz Farms is apparently planning on turning large portion of Detroit's unused land into urban farmland, to provide the city with fresh produce. They are worknig with Michigan State University to test the soil (it use to be farm land, so much of it is good soil) and also to test the safety of pesticide and fertilizer use in the inner-city.

For those who don't know, Detroit is most definitely a dying city. At one point the city had 2 million residents, and now it has less then half of that. Detroit has been in nearly constant decline since de-industrialization began in the 1950s. You'll find more abandoned building sin Detroit then you will inhabited buildings in other cities. The abandoned land in Detroit is almost as large in area as the city of San Francisco. So as you can imagine this city is in need of a massive boost, or else it will eventually almost disappear off the map completely.

I couldn't find too much in the news on this but here is one of the more recent articles.

Farming: One way to try and save Detroit - Dec. 29, 2009

So my question to all of you is, do you think this will work? Or is it just a crazy idea that will inevitably fail?

And looking at the wider picture, where do you see urban agriculture in the development of cities? The more I learn about the bigger picture of agriculture int he world the more I see urban agriculture as the best way to feed urban centers and to reduce the stress on agricultural land around the world.




Destroyer25

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#2 11 years ago

Detroit could certainly use it, otherwise it will cease to exist.




AlDaja

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#3 11 years ago

I think it is a great idea...sometimes you have to go full circle and reinvent yourself, or a city in this case; as the saying goes, when one door closes another opens. Detroit started out as a farming community so might as well return. There is plenty of open sprawl that could be redeveloped for agriculture, to include roof tops. It would take a bit of re-engineering, but there is plenty of growing space on top of the sky-scrapers with plenty of sunshine. Denver has a couple of concept/pilot programs where they are growing vegetables on top of two of our recent sky-scrapers that went up. We are also doing a pilot program where people with huge acreages are leasing the land to people in defunct regions (like Detroit) who want to pursue a career in agriculture and start over learning how to be farmers, ranchers, etc. What they produce has to be sold locally, but it teaches people how to be self-sufficient while preserving and promoting a critical trade for future generations.




Nittany Tiger Advanced Member

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#4 11 years ago

It's a good idea. It'll generate extra food, resources, jobs (maybe), and revenue.

It could be a small economic boost to our nation.




Commissar MercZ

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#5 11 years ago

I think it would be interesting to try and find some ways to make cities more livable. The size of urban crawl in some areas are downright ridiculous imo, but we'll see how this goes. I don't think this will make so much of a massive economic impact as it has more of a social and moral one- people will feel more closer to their city and work with one another.




AlDaja

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#6 11 years ago
Commissar MercZ;5228069 people will feel more closer to their city and work with one another.

In Detroit? Well, we can hope I suppose.




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#7 11 years ago

I don't think Detroit will stay like that forever. It'll go through a painful mess but I think it'll pick itself up.

Though looking for a fix-all solution won't cut it in its case, but the rate of urban crawl pretty much makes cities willing to do anything.

Dallas had to do a lot of local renovations to help and rebuild confidence and trust among citizens to cut down a very high crime rate in the city.

Though on the flip-side such a thing will probably cause gentrification, like it did in Dallas.




AlDaja

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#8 11 years ago

Well, we'll see. The racial demographics might be difficult to overcome, given they lack the humble roots of caring for ones own self like they do in the South or Mid-Western states. Many of those 'cats' up there refuse to take care of their own yard let alone work the land. They'd rather starve themselves and beg from the Government than god forbid - work the land. Uncle Sam is busy with bigger problems right now and is largely telling them to figure it out on their own...many of which are doing just that by taking the easy path; moving away as opposed to buckling down and coming together to salvage Detroit's economy and its future.




SeinfeldisKindaOk

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#9 11 years ago

I saw articles on this a while ago too. It seems like a good idea. I'd be worried about soil contamination from all the heavy industry that was there. If people leave and more space opens up there's potential for a person to own enough land to sustain themselves. I read that houses there can go for $15,000. crazy low.




AlDaja

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#10 11 years ago
Professor Dr. Scientist;5228141I read that houses there can go for $15,000. crazy low.

Have you ever been to Detroit's subs? I haven't been there for about three years, but you could buy a house then in most of the suburbs for not much more than this. Detroit has a predominantly black population, not that that is the point, but they tend to buy or rent these low cost hovels so they can live like kings and queens with the nice cloths, bling and oh yeah - their rides be pimp'n. Just about every where I went I was afraid of accidentally bumping someones car in fear my insurance company would fold if I got a scratch on their cars.




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