[permaculture] A discussion about the Detriot rennovation

Andrew McSwain aeromax.way at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 22:15:53 EDT 2010

For those of you that don't already know. The city of detroit is going to
start demolishing some of neighborhoods
that stand vacant. That's it, you've heard right. They aren't just going to
demolish a few houses here and there, they aren't even going to just destroy
a couple of hundred. They are going to tear down entire neighborhoods, to
the tune of 10000 edifications per year. In it's place will be a series of
urban farms, gardens, food forests, parks, and nature reserves of an
unprecedented scale, frequency, and integration factor.

It's quite possibly the largest city greening to date.

I have heard a little about the Detroit revision, but it wasn't until I read
a recent article in Brazil's periodical, "Exame," and saw buckyballs and
super-efficient public transit, that i caught wind of how serious these guys
are. Over 270 million dollars in public money and municipal bonds so far,
not even counting the investments from private real-estate developers lke
John Hantz and Hantz Farms looking scooping up properties in these areas
with the express intention to turn them into urban food forests or
aesthetically pleasing, park-like, farms.

 The Objective:
What role will permaculture play in the planning, design and execution
process of this could-be huge project?
Who is John Hantz, does anyone have contact with him or any of the city
planners/mayor/decision makers in detroit? what are the goals of his
company, what are his views on permaculture and does he see himself
implementing them into his project?
Do these guys know about the example Davis, California and michael colbert?
(link to the Suburban
http://www.youtube.com/user/Ranterd?feature=mhw5#p/u/6/OSsCvpDbMW8) This
could be an excellent model for their project.

The Dream (etheral):
Despite all of this, I must say that I really shat bricks when I noticed
that the abandoned buildings were filled to the lid with greenery spilling
out of every orfice. Moreso than just the gross dollar amount (which is
still a little too small for my liking) I was captivated by the the
long-time recurring day-dream of mine to see a full-fledged, food producing,
ecosystem intricately intertwined with a 21st century metropolis (complete
with a designated nature reserve on the periphery). How might we go about
doing something like this? That's the question.

The Buckminster Fuller:
As far as living spaces In the far future: i imagine a low-impact, three
dimensional web that stands above, or even within a full-fledged ecosystem.
Instead of inefficient and clunky concrete blocks skyscrapers filling
squared parcels of land for neighborhoods that effectively leave no room for
anything else but humans, we have massive self-sufficient buckyballs with a
hyper-efficeint internal personal transportation system and a cubic
grid-like structure to connect the buckyballs for personal transit and the
automated circulation of goods and energy... lol  ^^

We create more order in our cities and living spaces, which gives more room
for disorder (nature) to grow into the spaces from we have since receded.


P.S I am surprised to see so little previous discussion on this
subject, hopefully we can change that with this thread :)
Andrew Edwin McSwain
055(11)6785-1176 (São Paulo)
01(501)681-0439 (United States)

More information about the permaculture mailing list