Urban gardening continues to provide an inspiring and positive storyline in the city whether it’s the consistent coverage the city gets or the cool projects that are sprouting up (like Jim from Sweet Juniper’s latest project at the Georgia Street Community Garden) in the city as a result. Speaking to the former, Detroit was recently featured in the Christian Science Monitor as a beacon of awesome in the urban gardening realm. The article talks about the occasionally controversial Hantz Farm, but also RecoveryPark, the lesser-known 10 year, $220 million project putting organic farms in four different struggling neighborhoods around Detroit. Quite possibly the most engaging part of the article is the fact that it exemplifies Detroit’s leadership in pushing forward an agricultural agenda in a post-industrial city. Meanwhile, other places like San Francisco are following suit, lending credence to the fact that Detroit is forging a new, innovative path for modern cities.
The TIME machine is still churning out content over there in West Village. Steven Gray pumped out an interesting piece that certainly tells the consistent tail of Detroit’s issues, but follows it up with ample evidence that Detroit is certainly not alone as it attempts to pick up the pieces and start again. Gray rambles off a baker’s dozen worth of other cities across the nation in dire circumstances with budget deficits, necessary infrastructural improvements and things like tax bases that don’t support necessary public services. Hmm. So it is set up quite nicely that Detroit is positioned quite well right now to be a leading example of how these problems can be addressed all across the country. Kind of similar to something Toby Barlow said in a DL! interview, all cities, at some point, are going to be in Detroit’s shoes– and as Gray points out in the TIME article, there may be more than we think. So, if we take the lead right now, we could be looked at down the road for quite some time as a model of re-invention for struggling cities across the country. Quite a nice prospect. Time to get to work.
A recent article written by Ron Williams, former editor and publisher of Metro Times, wrote an article on Detroit focusing mostly on sustainability and Detroit’s potential to be a model city in this department. Some real jewels from the piece:
“… new leadership is coming from the place it always does in the endâ€“ from the bottom up. This new life cycle is a grassroots affair with an astonishing number of people fashioning solutions and affirming. There are now eight hundred community gardens on abandoned lots, peace zones for public safety, green retrofitting of empty houses, new open source media projects and an exploding hip hop and poetry scene.”
“Detroit is not about architectural ruins. The future of Detroit is happening in plain sight. The people of the D are re-imagining their lives and their city in fresh and courageous ways. They are on the front lines and there is a lot to learn from them.”