A New Economy for Detroit Michigan - Green Revival Possible | Statistics
Death of the Detroit Economy
American made was once the standard. The Industrial Revolution ushered in millions of jobs for America. One of the main industries was the automotive industry which historically has been headquartered in Detroit Michigan, the home of Henry Ford, the founder/inventor/mechanic of Ford Motor Company. This once great American city is crumbling under the weight of the loss of manufacturing here in the United States. On January 18, 2010 Fortune magazine reported a very scary statistics for this once great city.
Scary Statistic Number One:
33,000 empty / abandoned homes in one city in America - Detroit, Michigan.
Scary Economic Statistic Number Two:
The cost of an acre of land in Detroit $3,000 in comparison to the cost of an acre of farmland in Iowa is $4,500.
More Scary Statistics on Detroit- Population of Detroit Historically:
- Population 1950 - 1.8 million
- Population 2009 - 800,000
More Scary Statistics on Detroit - Vacant Land and Comparable:
- Underutilized land (not vacant) in Detroit 139 square miles
- Comparable: San Francisco 47 square miles, Boston 48 square miles, Manhattan 23 miles
History Repeating Itself? Sack of Rome Revisited
There is hope. There is a possibility of a return to agriculture. The irony of the return to agriculture for Detroit is seen in history. If you will recall the Sack of Rome was the beginning of the Dark Ages for Europe. Up until the starvation and takeover of this great and prosperous center of the world which was referred to as Rome, the world was a relatively prosperous and peaceful place. War would end all of that and the flight away from the urban cities began and a return to the basics - agriculture. See the direct parallel? Isn't history fascinating?
The Good News - A Plan from a Former Stockbroker
John Hantz who was once a star stockbroker – his plan – big idea – to help his dying city. His idea is to create a farm. Yes - you heard me correctly - to revert the urban city acreage to farmland. But not just any farmland.
Hantz's vision is to create a farm – a “large-scale, for-profit agricultural enterprise, wholly contains within the city limits of Detroit.”
Why this crazy idea? Because of the statistics and demographics of the city of Detroit. The City of Detroit has an enormous amount of abandoned land.
Artist Rendering of Advanced Farming - the Largest Urban Farm In the World
Facts Presented by Fortune Magazine
On January 18, 2010, Fortune reported some terrifying facts about the American city that died from the demise of manufacturing:
- 33,000 Empty/Abandoned Homes
- Cost of an acre in Detroit - $3,000, Cost of farmland in Iowa $4,500
- Detroit's Population 1950 1.8 million Detroit's Population 2009 800,000
- Vacant Land in Detroit 139 Square Miles
- Comparable Vacant Land:
- Boston 48 square Miles
- Manhattan 23 square miles
Green Wizardry Conservation and Solar Power and More
The Green Detroit Idea from John Hantz
Who is John Hantz?
A wealthy money manager, age 48, who lives in Detroit. Hantz is reported as a "former star stockbroker with American Express". He started his own firm 13 years ago and now has 20 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Georgia, more than 500 employees, and $1.3 billion in assets under management.
"With a net worth of more than $100 million, he's one of the richest men left in Detroit -- one of the very few in his demographic who stayed put when others were fleeing to Grosse Pointe and Bloomfield Hills. Not long ago, while commuting, he stumbled on a big idea that might help save his dying city."
The Benefit to the City of Detroit
Restore big plots of tax-delinquent, resource-draining urban blight to pastoral productivity and tax paying land.
Provide decent jobs with benefits.
Supply local markets and restaurants with fresh produce.
And attract tourists from all over the world.
The Commitment Needed - The Largest Urban Farm in the World
Hantz is willing to commit $30 million to the project. Forbes reported that he will start with a pilot program Spring 2010 and 50 acres on Detroit's east side.
"Out of the gates," he says, "it'll be the largest urban farm in the world."