Detroit was once the heart of American industry. Then came the crisis – a quarter of the people left the city. A lot of space for new things. Also for a healthier and better way of life. But therefore, some actions were needed to cleanup Detroit.
The Greening of Detroit
The Greening Of Detroit is one of many small initiatives trying to invent a new Detroit. Actually, it was founded more than 25 years ago. Even back then, when the automobile metropolis, the home of Ford and General Motors, was in an even better position, it wanted to change something. “Fatty foods and sweets are available on every street corner here,” says Trish Hubbell. “Children suck sweets for breakfast. People buy whatever they can find. It’s just very difficult to find healthy food here.”
More and more dilapidated, looted and occupied houses
Since 2012, the association now maintains an urban garden in downtown Detroit. Many people are trained in agriculture here before starting their own vegetable garden. In the Eastern Market green space where we are now, there are over 1000 who have taken courses. Some to produce for their own needs. Others to start their own business. In total, there will be 350 businesses in the city with 5000 jobs.
Tee Rushdan, head of the urban agriculture department, says there are more and more dilapidated houses, looted and occupied in the city centre. This has led to a climate of insecurity. “Instead of simply watching the situation deteriorate, residents have taken over the city and created a community garden.
Cleanup at Rosa Parks
Another action was the cleaning of the petroleum coke from the Detroit Bulk Storage Dock area at Rosa Parks Blvd. According to Dan Chirrin (of North Coast Strategies, public relations for Detroit Bulk Storage) – the asphalt pad is being pulled up in 50×50 sections to minimize dust. MDEQ spokesperson Brad Wurfel continues to say it is not harmful to humans… the residents would like to ask the MDEQ spokesperson to come to spend an afternoon touring the petroleum coke piles. We believe his statement may alter after several days of headaches and a burning sensation in his nose. This is a common experience of those who are not present to them daily.
Taking back the cultivated land was the answer of the inhabitants of Detroit to a justified feeling of being left to their own devices. The authorities have too often proved their incompetence. The city’s bankruptcy – with debts of 18 billion dollars – in 2013 is only one example.