Urban Prairie

Orange House
Originally uploaded by Allan M.
So I was goofing around on Wikipedia and was reading about Detroit. The article has a link to Urban prairie which is when an abandoned city block gets taken over by vegetation and eventually wildlife starts to move it - pheasants, possums, raccoons, and so on. It sounds fascinating and bizarre, that this sort of thing happens in a city.

Detroit seems really interesting because of that, here's this huge city which has half the population it did in 1950, so vast swaths of downtown land are empty - huge, abandoned buildings and blocks where most or all of the houses are burned, knocked down, or completely gone, so they're completely overgrown. I found a really interesting blog post about it too with some great photos. There's also a lot on flickr. It makes me wish I knew somebody up there so I could visit and see the city.


Anonymous said...

Of course, that abandonment happened as a result of the poverty in Detroit. It's the poorest city in the U.S., and many of its inhabitants are homeless or living in pitiful conditions (after all, this is the richest country in the world, and these people have no running water in their homes, sometimes no roofs, etc).

Andrew said...

Detroit is definitely in very bad shape, but it also depends on how you determine poverty - percentage of people below poverty line, average household income, number of people below poverty line, etc. For example, % of pop below poverty line, Detroit is 13.7, which is a lot, but that's better than Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft Worth, San Antonio, New Orleans (in 2005) etc. But in any case, it's a sad situation.