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Detroit: Hantz Meanz Farmz

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Once a city of innovation, by all accounts, Detroit is today a city in ruin: the Pompeii of our times.  The statistics are frightening: unemployment amongst the highest in the nation, population decreases surpassing even east-Berlin after the wall came down; and not a single supermarket within city limits.

Hantz Farm in inner-Detroit is set to change this.  John Hantz and Matt Allen have created this innovative approach to save the local community.  They realise that much of Detroit is simply “too broken to fix”, so aim to reinvigorate it by creating 100 acres of urban farms – former residential or commercial plots of land which they will clear and transform into a thriving agricultural area, for a relatively low cost. They cannot reinvigorate the fledgling car industry which has devastated the local – and national – economy, but they can create jobs, stimulate the local economy, and give residents a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

It’s an inspiring idea that will create jobs, increase the health of its denizens, aid in smart energy use, lower crime rates and free up emergency services to look after the inhabited areas of the city.

Natty little logo, too.

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Posted by on August 1, 2009 in building, urban design

 

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Kevin Bauman: 100 Abandoned Houses

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As a kid, my knowledge of Detroit extended to what I had seen on Home Improvement – a suburban dream, populated by middle-class families who had a strange yet lovable obsession with cars, and kids who got to take the day off school whenever it snowed.

Fast forward only 15-or-so years, and Detroit has become the Pompeii of our century – but rather than being obliterated by a volcano, this oversized, underpopulated wasteland of a city has been destroyed by  by its own unsustainability.

100 Abandoned Houses is a project by photographer Kevin Bauman which seeks to document just a handful of the thousands of Detroit homes that lie vacant.  Bauman’s large-scale, almost clinical images give a terrifying, almost post-apocolyptic portrayal of a city in ruin.

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A foggy morning in Detroit

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2009 in looking, photography, urban design

 

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