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according to the article - it is becoming clear that there is increasing economic opportunity in Detroit's urban farming experiment. What I find interesting is that the scale of these urban farms are about the same as in Wright's broadacre... and that depressed property values coupled with de-industrialization and de-population actually makes farming the only viable economic option for a lot of the land in the city.
plus there's this:
Wright's critique of private ownership, conspicuous consumption, and the accumulation of wealth associated with cities was no small part of the social critique embodied in Broadacre, which was conceived in the worst years of the Depression, when bankrupt family farmers were fleeing their mortgaged fields in the middle of the country and migrating to California. Ironically, given his anxiety over the corrosive effects of wealth and speculative capital, Wright found in Ford's notion of regional infrastructure the basis for an American pattern of urban development: Broadacre was intended to provide a respite from the relentless demands of profit associated with the industrial city, even as the American city was well on a course toward decentralization, driven by the highly capitalist strategies of Fordist production.
I hope farmers in the motor city are aware of the soil contaminants lurking on these sites.
Food grown in urban and suburban soils may be dangerous to eat.
Detroit may just become the first real city of the future. The Information Age merges with the Agrarian age on an abandoned Industrial age capital. The Industrial Age was a necessary evil i would suggest to arrive at the InfoAgrarian age or whatever the hell you want to call it- where craft and thought merge at local subsistence in a global network and 'clean' infrastructure. For cleaning the city and soil see http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world
Quite the deep thinker this drewjmcnamara....I would agree NO to exactly how Broadacre was defined - rigid old school structural top down concepts, but otherwise YES.
Our studio at Taubman College is doing research on Detroit's Midtown and the various urban conditions that currently exist.