From today’s Green Blog, an interesting twister:
John Hantz says he has a dream: to purchase 140 acres of derelict land in the heart of Detroit and turn it into the world’s “largest urban farm.”
A Web site set up by Mr. Hantz, a wealthy entrepreneur, to advance his proposal says the farm would return the city “to its agrarian roots.” The repurposed lots — cleared of blight and planted with roughly 15,000 hardwood trees — would establish an economic zone, raise property values and return vast tracts of abandoned land to the city tax rolls, according to Mike Score, the president of the venture, Hantz Farms. Ideally, the enterprise has signaled, it would eventually become a major source of local food.
In a city where entire blocks of foreclosed homes and crumbling buildings have been bulldozed, the proposal has drawn some support, notably from the mayor, Dave Bing, and some city council members. But the proposed sale has drawn objections from some residents and city officials who say it would amount to a land grab.
“This is not the way to grow a vibrant city,” said Kwame Kenyatta, a City Council member. “Just because we have vacant land doesn’t mean we should turn Detroit into a farm.”
The council is set to vote on the proposal on Tuesday.