• 02Apr
    Categories: Journal entries Comments Off on Detroit returns to nature

    Make of this what you will, I found this film completely fascinating. I missed it on TV but all the parts are here on You Tube. I feel it is incredibly sad to see the history and architecture of this area not being preserved, but poetic that the land is naturally being reclaimed by the prairie and farming is returning to the city.

    I found it referenced on the Retro to Go website and the words are taken from their article. This is a new film by Julien Temple and it’s called “Requiem for Detroit”.

    Detroit was once America’s fourth largest city. Built by the car for the car, with its ground-breaking suburbs, freeways and shopping centres, it was the embodiment of the American dream. But its intense race riots brought the army into the city. With violent union struggles against the fierce resistance of Henry Ford and the Big Three, it was also the scene of American nightmares.

    Now it is truly a dystopic post-industrial city, in which 40 per cent of the land in the centre is returning to prairie. Greenery grows up through abandoned office blocks, houses and collapsing car plants, and swallows up street lights. Police stations and post offices have been left with papers on the desks like the Marie Celeste. There is no more rush hour on what were the first freeways in America. Crime, vandalism, arson and dog fighting are the main activities in once the largest building in North America. But it’s also a source of hope. Streets are being turned to art. Farming is coming back to the centre of the city. Young people are flocking to help. The burgeoning urban agricultural movement is the fastest growing movement in the US. Detroit leads the way again but in a very different direction.

    Of course start doing some research on Google and there are fascinating blogs about different aspects of Detroit and amazing photographs of the abandoned buildings on Flickr. This blog, Sweet Juniper, is written by somebody who knows Detroit well and there are stunning photos of houses returning to nature in the area.