A while ago I wrote a post on the sad but lovely ruins of Detroit. Today I came across a couple of articles (NY Times article by Mark Bittman and Food Among the Ruins by Mark Dowie – this one is long but well-worth the read) that feature some exciting stories of grassroots movements aiming to transform this city. When the mayor wisely decided to tear down abandoned houses within the city limits wide swaths of land were opened up within the city and people are turning those into urban gardens and orchards! Promoting not only the eat-local movement but also stimulating the economy, this could be a dynamic way for Detroit to regain its lost luster in a way that is sustainable. It’s also serving to unite people from diverse background as they work together to beautify a city that has been hit worse than most by the recession. While my original post talked about nature slowly overtaking the debris of human activity, this movement is using and guiding that natural cycle to produce healthy affordable food and create beauty. If the individuals and groups, churches and NGOs supporting this effort are successful, Detroit could entirely redefine itself. It will take a lot of time and effort but the dividends could be amazing. I would love to live in a city filled with parks, vegetable gardens and orchards, and be able to get bread from this Detroit bakery or shop at this amazing market. For a city that has been so rocked lately, this is a shimmer of hope and I wish them all the best. For my friends who live in Detroit, what do you think?
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