It’s not uncommon knowledge that one of the hardest hit areas of the recession was Detroit, the center of the now-barely-afloat automotive industry. The housing sector has been almost completely obliterated within the city limits — whole blocks of once-thriving neighborhood has been reduced to vacant, abandoned homes left to decay along with the city.
However, a plan first suggested in the early 1990’s, and now being seriously considered, hopes to change all that — by bulldozing nearly a quarter of the city’s land and its decrepit buildings, and returning the land to pre-Industrial Revolution condition — farm land.
The plan, according to this Yahoo article is to plant fruit trees and vegetable fields in the stead of buildings and other signs of modernity (and the subsequent decay).
Some of the residents of the neighborhoods on the wrong end of the wrecking ball are ecstatic at the possibility of getting out of the areas now resembling ghost towns, while others want to save the neighborhoods they’ve occupied for 40-plus years.
While the idea of replacing man-made eyesores with greenery and produce sound intriguing, the toxins released into the air (old lead paint, asbestos, etc) by demolishing the buildings seems like an ecological nightmare.
Can the neighborhoods be saved, or is Detroit beyond saving? Is there anyway to get the city back to its once-glory, or is turning it into an urban farmscape the new path to eco-conscious urbane living? Tell us your ideas in the comments below.
photo: Kevin Bauman