Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Snag in Detroit's Urban Farming Experiment

As I've mentioned before, I think Detroit's idea to create an urban farming area is a brilliant stroke of creativity. But, given that the dwindling population in the once huge city is somewhat scattered, it stands to reason that some people are still living in the largely abandoned areas and thus the problem becomes one of displacement: where will the farm be located and who will be displaced because of it?

In a perfect world, city planners would select the most abandoned area that lends itself to farming renewal and give anyone who has to relocate a new house in another, presumably more desirable, area. Win-win. Of course, the world (read: government) doesn't work that way and I'm sure that somewhere there's a banker or two plotting on potential profits on the backs of the displaced.

But let's go back to that perfect world again. The one where people sacrifice for the greater good and no one gets made homeless or shafted with rising real estate prices in the face of being displaced from their homes. Let's envision the concept that a rising tide lifts all boats. Can we do this? Is it in us?

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