Wow, I am so freaking excited for Detroit right now. Seem like everywhere I look in national media there are mentions of cool things happening in this dynamic city.
Especially cool to see the food scene getting some well-deserved attention. Most notably the Atlantic gave the Detroit restaurant scene a healthy dose of recognition for it’s use of made-in Michigan products.
Two other examples are the NY Times article on Slow’s BBQ, and Grist’s highlighting the community organizing around urban gardening projects. The author noted about Detroit: “food has emerged as the key motivating force of Detroiters’ efforts to re-imagine their town as a thriving, livable place.”
Now I know the nay sayers like to scoff that urban farming is no golden ticket for Detroit, but I say give it a chance. In the face of non-existent job opportunities, Detroiters are creating their own. And we don’t know where that will go. Imagine if we bought even 25% of everything we ingest from local sources, what would that look like? I think it would create jobs and also have significant quality-of life-impact, as food connects people to each other as one of the most basic elements of our humanity.
Greening urban spaces, not only through urban gardening, but by creating sustainable, usable green spaces in the city CAN change the city.
For added inspiration, check out this TedX video about greening the ghetto by Majora Carter from the South Bronx whose commitment to urban renewal has truly made a difference.
Food can really lead the way for a better city, not just for Detroit, but for people everywhere. I believe that Detroit is experiencing economic realities that will likely befall many cities in years to come. And our survival tactics can serve as a road map for the future.