Staying Alive

More than 30 years ago, Detroit made a selfless contribution to the world with its unique industrially-inspired electronic music. Now people around the world (and locally) are brainstorming ideas to help rebuild and redesign the decaying and nearly dead city.

Since filing for bankruptcy in July 2013 a number of initiatives from around the globe have been developed to revitalise the legendary Motor City. A design competition was launched to create a new vision for the city and revitalise key sites. Empowered citizens and community groups refused to give Detroit away and worked together to create places for people and investments in public transport infrastructure to pave the way to a brighter future.

Have a look at these promising urban initiatives.

The M-1 Rail
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The M-1 Rail line, which is currently under construction, is a new line that will run in downtown Detroit. The construction and operation of the new line is led by a non-profit organisation that raised $200,000 for the improvement of crosswalks for the new rail. The rail line will support the creation of jobs and housing.

Urban agriculture by Detroit Farm and Garden
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Detroit Farm and Garden is a local store that provides Detroit’s communities with farming produce, gardening and landscape resources.

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Compost is great way to turn waste into something good and useful. The organisation Detroit Dirt focuses on implementing compost on abandoned parcels of land in Detroit and turns them into urban farms for the community’s benefit.

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Bringing a city back to life is not an easy job, it requires participation at all levels of many stakeholders. Music is also playing an important role in the transformation of Detroit and the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is the proof. You may or may not be familiar with this international festival that tours in many worldwide cities (it started in Melbourne), but also make its only North American appearance in Detroit! The alleys are used for artistic expression and also as an avenue to help the community. Dally in the Alley is another festival sponsored by a non-profit organisation that uses the proceeds from the street fair for projects that seek to improve the quality of life for people who live and work in the neighbourhood.

Although a lot of work is yet to be done, hope is not all lost.

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