When we think of cities, we often imagine concrete and building development; not gardens and farms. Nowhere is the typical image of a big concrete jungle of a city more prominently represented in the minds of many than when you mention Detroit. The city used to be a metropolitan mecca, with nearly two million inhabitants and nearly a hundred and fifty square miles of urban infrastructure. Today, Detroit is a decaying blight. The population has plummeted and the city has turned into a failing ring of suburbs surrounding an empty city center.
For many Detroit residents, the blight has removed options for goods and services; including that most basic essential. Food. Fresh food is particularly harder to come by as stores and providers depart for greener pastures more filled with customers. But urban agriculture might be what helps Detroit, and other modern cities facing the challenges of urban blight, turn their food deficits around.
Urban redevelopers, designers seeking to revitalize blighted cities, are turning to combined purpose developments. Folding green spaces, artistic architecture, and new businesses into freshly developed areas that seek to inject new life into these dead zones. By placing farms in the midst of the area, it adds both green spaces and readily available fresh food that helps boost the cause. More than just the food, the urban agricultural operations provide commerce as well; jobs and money to inject life into the communities alongside the food that supports the people living and working there.
- 1The population of Detroit, and other cities, has plummeted; in some cases by as much as half.
- 2The departures have left blight, and that has created spaces that can be converted for more open use such as agriculture.
- 3Turning urban areas to greener uses can be part of a revitalization strategy that reinvigorates decaying city centers.