The Viet Village Urban Farm is an integral part of the rebuilding the community in New Orleans but has hit red tape. The CDC purchased land for the Urban Farm but the land has been disignated by the Army Corp to be ‘jurisdictional’ wetlands which would require the CDC to purchase over $300,000 in environmental credits. They are now looking at other options for the planned Urban Farm that requires $5-6million for Phase I and II.
Read more about the Viet Village Urban Farm at NOLA.com
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The idea of returning Detroit to farm land is an interesting idea that was recently covered in New Geography(DETROIT: URBAN LABORATORY AND THE NEW AMERICAN FRONTIER, Nov. 4) and New York Times(Plowing Detroit Into Farmland blog post Nov. 9 based on New Geography article).
The New Geography article reviews the size and scale of Detroit in comparison to other cities and the extent of urban decay since the 1950′s and that Detroit could become farmland.
In my opinion, Detroit could become a city of urban agriculture; it has the land, water & infrastructure(roads, rail) and lots of deserted industrial space that could be converted to markets and storage/logistics. However it would require a either a grass roots movement which gets financial backing (after initial results) from investors or a federal incentive as the city of Detroit is shrinking and resources are already stretched.
Urban agriculture could supply the people of Detroit and other cities in region with food. Large areas of housing could be converted to open fields where the blocks are large or rows of green houses where the blocks are narrow. The agricultural areas could also grow crops for ethanol(although resource intensive) to supply raw materials for fuel(refined in Detroit) for the farm machinery and cars.
Urban agriculture combined with alternative energy such as wind and solar could convert Detroit from a city to a urban core with villages (see New Geography for diagram). The city could become self-sufficient and a possible testing ground for urban design that could be used for other North Americans cities going through the same changes in size and urban form.
New Orleans is currently a hot bed for Urban Design experiments for the South, which came about from a natural disaster maybe Detroit can come back as the hot bed of Urban Design for Northern climates.
Detroit has the opportunity and basic resources but does it have the will to change?
Read more information used as background for this post at [New Geography] & [New York Times]
By Damian Holmes
Mayor Ray Nagin’s Armstrong Park statue plan draws criticism – NOLA.com
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s $3 million vision for Armstrong Park is taking shape.
It includes seven large, new sculptures, one of which will be created by renowned artist Elizabeth Catlett, who also did the bronze sculpture of Louis Armstrong now in the park.
Detroit-based[with an office in New Orleans] architectural firm Hamilton Anderson Co. has been hired to help design the project.
SOURCE: NOLA.com – Mayor Ray Nagin’s Armstrong Park statue plan draws criticism