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Reply #12: GM's Bust Turns Detroit Into Urban Prairie of Vacant-Lot Farms [View All]

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ozymandius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:25 AM
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12. GM's Bust Turns Detroit Into Urban Prairie of Vacant-Lot Farms
Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler LLC are fighting for their lives. Large stretches of Detroit are already dead.

With enough abandoned lots to fill the city of San Francisco, Motown is 138 square miles divided between expanses of decay and emptiness and tracts of still-functioning communities and commercial areas. Close to six barren acres of an estimated 17,000 have already been turned into 500 ``mini- farms,'' demonstrating the lengths to which planners will go to make land productive.


Now, business coalitions such as Detroit Renaissance are moving forward with plans to identify neighborhoods where resources should be concentrated and help the area diversify away from cars. The organizations want to use local research hospitals to attract health-care and biotech startups, according to Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance, as well as foster a creative community around the city's legacy of advertising agencies.


``We're looking at pretty innovative ideas,'' said George Jackson, Detroit Economic Growth's chief executive.

One is urban farming. In many parts of Detroit, land that once held houses now grows cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and collard greens.

The city has more than 500 gardens and ``we plan to triple that every year,'' said Michael Travis, deputy director of Urban Farming, a Detroit-based nonprofit corporation that helps clear land and provides topsoil and fertilizer.

It's the new economy.
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