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Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City (Painted Turtle) Paperback – September 9, 2010
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Most think that Detroit is vacant/empty because of the loss of population over the past generation. Certainly that is part of it, but Gallagher points out that the size of Detroit was immense from the beginning. With enough land to encompass all of San Francisco, Boston and Manhattan, Detroit was spread out to begin with. This has now come back to be a serious challenge for the city.
Urban farming is an often noted solution to these empty spaces and Gallagher takes a serious look at the pros and cons of the popular idea. He accurately points out that urban farming alone is not a panacea for the city and at best, would be a part of any overall solution to the problem. He estimates that currently there are approximately 500+ acres of community gardens in the area or roughly one square mile of urban farms. Detroit has over 40 square miles of vacant land which makes you understand the challenge of what to do with all that space.
In order to make urban farming an economic possibility there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way we think about locally grown foods. Gallagher points out that only about 2% of Detroit's food could be considered locally grown. If that were boosted to 5-10% then the economics starts to become possible.
One missing conversation in the book is the possibility of medical marijuana farms. Michigan approved med marijuana in 2008 but large scale growth and distribution has yet to be implemented. Marijuana being a high value to acreage product might change some of the economics.Read more ›
I read the book straight through in two flights. Urban farming, technology start ups, reclaiming natural features of our environment ... good read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Relevant, easy-to-read, and insightful look into Detroit's future based on its unique history. A large gamut of issues are discussed from auto and development history to micro and... Read morePublished on November 26, 2012 by Benjamin Haschke
This is an incredibly well written and well researched work with an interesting perspective on how a shrinking city can adapt and excell by recognising opportunities that come with... Read morePublished on March 3, 2012 by The Dog
This book is great! I loved how author, John Gallagher used so many examples from other cities here in Michigan, within our country and cities around the world that has been... Read morePublished on June 28, 2011 by DetroiterBecker
This book gives the reader an excellent, straightforward introduction to Detroit and the various efforts to revitalize the city: urban ag, greenways, etc. Read morePublished on February 14, 2011 by Todd Scott