Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Urban Farming

Read this great article in Fortune on urban farming possibilities. Time/Inc. magazines have taken as its project over the last several months and into an indefinite future to chronicle the story of Detroit and her future. They demonstrated their drive for this story by buying a house in Detroit--- yeah, some editors bought a house!

Some highlights from the article:
  • John Hantz is one of the drivers behind this phenomenon; a white guy who is rich and still has a Detroit address (and isn't about to leave).
  • Hantz: "We can't create opportunities, but we can create scarcity."
  • Detroit has 40 sq. miles of abandoned land and is bigger in land mass than Frisco, Boston and Manhattan combined!
  • "Where will new ideas for the 21st century emerge? From older, decaying cities, Krieger believes, such as New Orleans, St. Louis, Cleveland, Neward and especially Detroit-- cities that have become, at least in part, 'kind of empty containers.'"
  • Center city sports attractions such as Ford Field and Comerica Park "have restored, on some nights, a little spark to downtown Detroit but have inspired little in the way of peripheral development."
  • "Abandonment is an infrastructure problem."
  • Make pods.
  • Dave Bing seems positive.
  • Not trying to reproduce IA. In fact, if anything, this idea realized to an urban phenomenon may unseat "the nation's dependence on Big Ag."
  • Hantz: "Some things you've got to see in order to believe," he says, waving his cigar. "This is a thing you've got to believe in order to see."
  • Hantz might win the day with his ideas: "That's the beauty of [Detroit] being down and out.... You can actually open your mind to ideas that you would never otherwise embrace." At this point, Detroit doesn't have much left to lose.
I used to live right outside of the Motown in Allen Park and Lincoln Park. These years in metro Detroit were quite formative in many ways. In a sense, part of my heart is still in this suffering city. I hope that this idea of urban farming will stage Detroit as a 21st century leader in urban renewal (geographically speaking). Religiously speaking, I see great opportunity for the gospel in this blighted community. There are some even tricky ethnic and racial hurdles that Caucasian Christians need to face head-on with some serious thought. I'm thankful for this group of believers (website needs a new design, I know; it hasn't changed in over ca. 5 years) that is attempting to reach Detroit with the good news of Jesus. May their tribe increase even among their own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you, brother. Ford posted a profit this quarter!

Move on back. Housing is tres-affordable.