Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Detroit Downsize

There is an interesting article in the Washington Times today about the city of Detroit looking to turn abandoned areas into farmland. It's a foreign kind of reversal. I think it is built into most of us that cities only grow, not the other way around. I know that for me, coming out of northern Virgina, that is what I figured.

I do believe that what is going on in Detroit is being considered in many other cities. Will they do it? Don't know, we'll have to wait and see. But it is good to know that growth doesn't have to only be measured in population or tax revenue. I hope people see that turning empty homes and streets back into empty land is not a step backward.

Not to get into the nuts and bolts of this but one thing the city officials are going to have to consider, and plan for, is that much of this land will not be usable farm land for some time. I know that here in Columbus and it's surrounding areas it is not possible to turn land once owned by a manufacturing facility into usable farmland. At least not in the near future. It's too polluted (for lack of a better word). I once asked someone why some open areas where a factory has been torn down had not been cleared of debris so things could grow and thus become marketable again. The answer? "because nothing will grow there".

Point taken.

Yes, nothing will - but in a couple decades something will so why not start that clock.

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