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Farming Detroit Like Trantor

Agrarian Detroit may seem like an oxymoron to those of us who grew up close to it, but the economic free fall caused by the decline of the Big Three automakers may make it a reality.

Were I an aspiring farmer in search of fertile land to buy and plow, I would seriously consider moving to Detroit. There is open land, fertile soil, ample water, willing labor, and a desperate demand for decent food. And there is plenty of community will behind the idea of turning the capital of American industry into an agrarian paradise. In fact, of all the cities in the world, Detroit may be best positioned to become the world’s first one hundred percent food self-sufficient city.

... the urban backyard garden boom that is sweeping the nation has caught hold in Detroit, particularly in neighborhoods recently settled by immigrants from agrarian cultures of Laos and Bangladesh, who are almost certain to become major players in an agrarian Detroit.
(Food among the ruins)


(Wide open spaces of Detroit)

It's not a prediction, but this image of the once-mighty Motor City reminds me very much of the fall of Trantor, the ruling center of the galaxy in Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation trilogy from the 1950's:


(Farming Trantor in 'Second Foundation' by Isaac Asimov)

Trantor was a world in dregs and rebirth. Set like a faded jewel... it alternately dreamed of past and future...

Until the decay of the Empire eventually reached it... its drooping powers had been bent back upon themselves and broken forever. In the blasting ruin of death, the metal shell... wrinkled and crumpled into an aching mock of its own grandeur.

The survivors tore up the metal plating and sold it... for seed and cattle. The soil was uncovered once more and the planet returned to its beginnings. In the spreading areas of primitive agriculture, it forgot its intricate and colossal past.

Via Food among the ruins and Detroit: Urban Laboratory and the New American Frontier via Futurismic.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/11/2009)

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