Farming in Detroit

Could Detroit, which has the unenviable title of one of America's Most Miserable Cities, get back its mojo by becoming ... a farm?!

Not such a crazy idea, according to some:

Detroit has more than 200,000 vacant parcels—almost half of them residential plots—that generate no significant tax revenue and would cost more to maintain than the city can afford. Finding new uses for this land has become one of the most pressing challenges for a city that lost a quarter of its population in the past decade.

[Entrepreneur John Hantz] proposes to ease that burden by buying about 2,300 parcels and planting oak trees, then maybe fruit orchards and hydroponic vegetables. The hardwoods could be harvested and sold within a decade to customers looking for young trees, according to Hantz Farms.

Detroit "cannot create value until we create scarcity," Mr. Hantz says. "Large-scale farming could begin to take land out of circulation in a positive way."

Matthew Dolan of the Wall Street Journal has the story: Link (Photo: Brian Widdis/The Wall Street Journal)

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Are we trapped in a time warp? This is an idea that's been kicking around very publicly since maybe 2004 or 2005. Hantz has been tied up in tussles with the city forever over this.
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Thats a good idea, except all the farms would be vandalized, stolen from, and burned down on a regular basis. Dooming them to eventual abandonment anyway. I have lived in Detroit. That place is horrific. The entire city just needs to be leveled.
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It's a pity the Coleman Young years of Devil's night fires has been forgot. I'd always expected the city to be burned to the ground. Too bad only council member's parcels got torched entirely. We can still hope though.
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