How has urban agriculture helped detroit

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In Detroit, urban agriculture has become a viable solution to creating more food security and sovereignty among its residents. Communities working together to alleviate food insecurity caused by vast food deserts in the Greater Detroit Area also creates food justice.

Detroiters share their stories about the environmental work they’re doing in the city, unearthing the growing number of urban farms gardens and mom-and-pop farms sprouting up in Detroit. Urban farming is inspiring city-grown fresh food, supporting environmental stewardship and bringing together community members.Sep 23, 2019

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What is the history of Agriculture in Detroit?

Detroit has a long history of agriculture, from the French farmers who colonized the area and set up ribbon farms along the river to the Panic of 1893, which prompted Mayor Hazen S. Pingree to open empty lots for farming. With the growth of the auto industry, the city’s agriculture faded into the past.

Why urban agriculture?

Why Urban Agriculture? Urban agriculture was legalized in Detroit in 2012, and has been framed as mutually beneficial for the shrinking urban area: vacant areas, usually threatened by growth and development, are free for farming, while the new economic sector reduces the negative affects of shrinkage in many ways.

What is the greening of Detroit?

The Greening of Detroit: In 1989, the Greening of Detroit began a simple mission: replace the trees lost in the mid-1900s to urban growth and Dutch elm disease.

What is D-Town Farm in Detroit?

D-Town Farm: At 7-acres in Rouge Park, D-Town is the largest farm in Detroit, and is dedicated to promoting food security and careers in agriculture of all sorts. Other activities at the farm include beekeeping, solar energy, and large-scale composting.

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How urban agriculture is transforming Detroit?

So Detroit has this — open land, fertile soil, proximity to water, willing labor and a desperate demand for healthy, fresh food. All of this has created a people-powered grassroots movement of people in Detroit who are transforming this city from what was the capital of American industry into an agrarian paradise.


Can farming save Detroit?

Their 2010 study, Growing Food in the City: The Production Potential of Detroit’s Vacant Land (PDF), concludes that such efforts could supply local residents with more than 75 percent of their vegetables and more than 40 percent of their fruits—a boon for a city where many residents live in food deserts.


What is the Detroit Urban food movement?

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to engage members of the Michigan community in sustainable agriculture. Using a agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community, while simultaneously… More. Connect.


How many urban farms are in Detroit?

Within the city of Detroit, home to nearly 1,400 community gardens and farms, there is one officially designated agrihood, Michigan Urban Farming Initiative.


What happened to the South Central Farm?

The farm was sold in 2004, and the farmers were evicted in 2006. On July 5, 2006, workers began bulldozing the farm amidst strong protest and acts of civil disobedience. The farmers disputed the validity of the sale in court and staged vigils in protest.


Why did urban gardens start in Detroit?

From its infancy, the urban farming movement started for a multitude of reasons. Maybe it was Detroit’s Mayor Pingree’s Victory Potato Gardens fighting starvation during the late 1800s.


Are there food deserts in Detroit?

The Michigan Department of Agriculture has labeled 19 Detroit neighborhoods as a “food desert,” which is a term used to describe an urban area that lacks accessibility to quality and affordable food.


Is there an Agrihood in Detroit?

Detroit is home to over 1,400 community gardens and farms, including the “the first sustainable urban agrihood” in the United States. The 50,000 lbs of produce grown annually is available for free to about 2,000 households within two square miles of the farm.


What are 5 things you learned about Detroit Urban Farming?

Keep Growing Detroit Foster healthy food relationships. Grow food and farming knowledge. Cultivate Community. Nurture Leadership. Change the value of food. Develop food assets.


When did urban farming start in Detroit?

The city has a long history of urban farming, stemming as far back as the 1890s when Mayor Hazen Pingree encouraged residents to plant potato patches on vacant land. But for those who are new to the city and new to farming in it, Detroit can be a really complicated place to navigate.


Is Detroit part of Ohio?

Detroit (/dɪˈtrɔɪt/, locally also /ˈdiːtrɔɪt/; French: Détroit) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is also the largest U.S. city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of government of Wayne County.


What is urban agriculture?

It portrays urban agriculture as a radical proposal to relocate food systems and reclaim means of food production, in a city where the majority of the population lack access to healthy and affordable food.


What was Detroit’s largest bankruptcy?

In 2013, Detroit experienced the largest municipal bankruptcy in the country’s history, with a total debt close to $19 billion. In shrinking cities, urban decline, and particularly the proliferation of vacant spaces, has been analyzed in the literature as a scourge.


Who is Julie Guthman?

As Julie Guthman (2008) has shown in her study of the production and reproduction of “whiteness” in the alternative food movement, urban-agriculture activists in Detroit are very concerned about the growing influx of young, educated, affluent white stakeholders.


What is the documentary Demain about?

The French documentary Demain [ 1], showcasing a world tour of ecological alternatives and viewed by more than a million people to date, depicts the city of Detroit as a Mecca of urban-agriculture activism. It portrays urban agriculture as a radical proposal to relocate food systems and reclaim means of food production,


Agriculture: the solution for Detroit

The entrepreneurship and change on food culture is already a fact and it is the people of Detroit who are in charge of implementing the strategies that will make urban agriculture one of the best solutions to revive, not only the economy of the city, but also the hope to give a new face to it, one that will create the path for a more promising future for current and future generations.


Urban agriculture movements in Detroit

There are several urban agriculture movements in Detroit, enforced by local leaders who are making a difference within their communities. Following are some of them:


Why is urban agriculture important in Detroit?

In Detroit, urban agriculture has become a viable solution to creating more food security and sovereignty among its residents. Communities working together to alleviate food insecurity caused by vast food deserts in the Greater Detroit Area also creates food justice.


What is Detroit’s model of self-sufficient urban agriculture?

The model of self-sufficient urban agriculture Detroit is pioneering in America has a model in Cuba. During the Cold War, Cuba formed an alliance with the Soviet Union shortly after the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Under Fidel Castro’s rule Cuba became a communist nation, similar to the Soviet Union. Cuba became economically and militarily dependent on the Soviet Union under strict economic sanctions from Democratic nations. By 1989, 57% of Cuba’s caloric intake was imported from the Soviet Union . When the Soviet Union was formally dissolved in 1991 Cuba found itself isolated in the midst of a food crisis, in which much of the countries population was experiencing food insecurity (Quirk). People became desperate for fresh produce and started growing their own crops in gardens on their balconies, rooftops, and in vacant lots.


How many people in Detroit used food stamps in 2009?

Gallagher observed that 22% of Detroit residents in 2009 used government distributed food stamps, and that 60% of food stamps were used at liquor stores, gas stations, and convenience stores in the Detroit area, which she believes are ‘the last front before hunger.’.


Why is Detroit the butt of every joke regarding American urban decay?

Detroit seems to be the butt of every joke regarding American urban decay because its decline was so abrupt that it left many people searching for new ways to make a sufficient income. Today, the people of Detroit struggle to find work and affordable, healthy food for themselves and their families. As a result, urban agriculture has become an …


How many high school graduates in Detroit will graduate from college?

It was also estimated that only 12% of high school graduates of Detroit Public Schools will graduate from college (Wirth). These demographics make for an increased amount of unskilled labor, yet no manufacturing jobs to sustain them. This is a major cause of the city’s pervasively high crime rates.


Why is Detroit so unique?

The city of Detroit is unique in comparison to other major cities in the United States because, over the past sixty years, it has transformed from the world capital of car manufacturing into a blighted city typified by vacant lots. Detroit seems to be the butt of every joke regarding American urban decay because its decline was so abrupt …


What is the oldest organic farm in Detroit?

Earthworks: Pioneering Food Security in America. Earthworks is the first and oldest certified-organic farm in Detroit, and has been working there for over a decade to improve the lives of Detroit’s residents.


What is Detroit’s agriculture?

The Farms of Detroit: Urban Agriculture in the Motor City. Detroit has a long history of agriculture, from the French farmers who colonized the area and set up ribbon farms along the river to the Panic of 1893, which prompted Mayor Hazen S. Pingree to open empty lots for farming.


When was urban agriculture legalized in Detroit?

Urban agriculture was legalized in Detroit in 2012, and has been framed as mutually beneficial for the shrinking urban area: vacant areas, usually threatened by growth and development, are free for farming, while the new economic sector reduces the negative affects of shrinkage in many ways. Aside from economic benefits such as job opportunities …


What is the Greening of Detroit?

Here’s just a few of the most notable, in no particular order, and what makes them stand out: The Greening of Detroit: In 1989, the Greening of Detroit began a simple mission: replace the trees lost in the mid-1900s to urban growth and Dutch elm disease.


How does urban farming affect the environment?

Other effects of urban farming include environmental benefits (food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table), beautification, and increased physical activity. While many benefits can apply to any city, shrinking cities like Detroit benefit exponentially.


Where is Lafayette Greens Park?

Since then, its goals have expanded to include all sorts of greening, including the Lafayette Greens park and garden in downtown Detroit, as well as educational programs in healthy eating, farming, and gardening for all ages.


Is urban farming a panacea?

On the other hand, some more profit-minded farmers have moved in, and gentrification concerns have arisen as the movement grows in popularity. Obviously, urban farming isn’t a panacea for all urban ills, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea.

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Urban Agriculture in A Shrinking City

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Detroit’s population has declined from 1.8 million in 1960 to just 677,000 in 2016. The city faces significant social problems: the unemployment rate stands at 27.5%, and 38.1% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2012. Major political problems exacerbate this situation: tax delinquency and real-estate aban…

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A Windfall For Environmental, Social and Urban Alternatives?

  • Indeed, urban agriculture has emerged as one means to solve and mitigate a series of issues related to structural urban decline. Far from being limited to its nutritional purpose, it has found a role as a multifunctional practice that has impacts on education, economic development, social interactions, urban planning, and the health of inhabitants and ecosystems (Morgan 2015). In thi…

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Hypothetical Benefits, Skeptical Inhabitants

  • In the academic literature and the media, urban agriculture is considered a universally beneficial practice, free of any downside. However, more and more researchers, often from the fields of radical and critical geography (Guthman 2008; Safransky 2014; Tornaghi 2014), have argued the opposite, recalling that the proclaimed benefits are more controversial than they seem at first gl…

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The Resurgence of Unfair Dynamics

  • In shrinking cities, while urban agriculture is increasingly promoted, unfair dynamics of access to services and resources are exacerbated by planned shrinkage policies3. These cuts are part of “austerity urbanism” (Peck 2012), a neoliberal urban governance characterized by the growing dependence of local authorities on mostly private financial actors and their capital. In this conte…

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Demystifying Urban Agriculture

  • Shrinking cities offer tangible opportunities to make urban agriculture a tool for original and radical experiments. These aim to reconnect cities to agricultural production ecosystems and to build local food systems that integrate social justice and ecological relationships. But gaining a better understanding of these current transformations entails identifying the underlying process…

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The Rise and Fall of Detroit

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In 1903, Henry Ford established the Ford Motor Company in the city of Detroit, which borders Canada, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair. Ford’s methods of manufacturing were revolutionary: he created large-scale assembly lines that were able to assemble cars very quickly and cheaply. Ford also created an environmen…

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Food Security, Food Sovereignty, and Food Justice

  • In order to examine the ways in which urban agriculture can revive a community such as Detroit, we must define food security, food sovereignty, and food justice. Food security is achieved when people have access to affordable healthy food that is safe to eat and culturally appropriate. Community food security is defined as “a condition in which all community residents obtain a sa…

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Food Sovereignty in Cuba

  • The model of self-sufficient urban agriculture Detroit is pioneering in America has a model in Cuba. During the Cold War, Cuba formed an alliance with the Soviet Union shortly after the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Under Fidel Castro’s rule Cuba became a communist nation, similar to the Soviet Union. Cuba became economically and militarily dependent o…

See more on usfca.edu


Earthworks: Pioneering Food Security in America

  • Earthworks is the first and oldest certified-organic farm in Detroit, and has been working there for over a decade to improve the lives of Detroit’s residents. It is a community-based farm and educational organization that is one of the few addressing the difficult food situation in Detroit. While common in developing countries, non-profits dedicated to teaching urban-dwellers how to …

See more on usfca.edu


Works Cited

  1. “A City of Detroit Policy on Food Insecurity” Food Security Policy. Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Web.  05 Nov. 2014
  2. Breath of Hope. Dir. Chris Bravo. Perf. James Gaines. 2008. Interview.
  3. Bonfiglio, Olga. “Growing Green in Detroit.” The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, n.d. Web. 15     Dec. 2014.
  1. “A City of Detroit Policy on Food Insecurity” Food Security Policy. Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Web.  05 Nov. 2014
  2. Breath of Hope. Dir. Chris Bravo. Perf. James Gaines. 2008. Interview.
  3. Bonfiglio, Olga. “Growing Green in Detroit.” The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, n.d. Web. 15     Dec. 2014.
  4. Buncombe, Andrew. “Cuba’s Agricultural Revolution an Example to the World.” Seattle Pi. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

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