Motor city goes rural - Macleans.ca

Motor city goes rural

Going forward, Detroit looks to pre-auto era

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When you think of Detroit, you probably think of cars—or, at least some heavy industry. But that might change. Today’s Detroit is desolate: a grey grid of abandoned streets fanning out into urban sprawl. And that desolation has city officials eyeing a dramatic urban renewal plan—one that would scale back the city, tearing down houses and replacing washed-out neighborhoods with the fields and farmlands of yesteryear. Imagine vegetable farms and fruit trees growing on the very land the fed the heart of 20th century American auto industry. Some city activists are already raising fists, but others think the plan is a pragmatic way for the stale city to enter the new millennium. Says James Hughes, dean of the School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, “There is now a realization that past glories are never going to be recaptured. Some people probably don’t accept that, but that is the reality.”

Associated Press

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