Detroit’s Mayor Foreshadows Urban Ag Announcement

In an interview broadcast this week, Detroit Mayor David Bing said that in the next 30 to 60 days his administration will make an announcement for a “really good size” urban farm initiative.  Currently, there are two major proposals for large scale farming: the Hantz Farms proposal for large-scale commercial, high-tech agriculture (beginning with a 40-acre parcel); and the Recovery Park
proposal by the Shar Foundation to create a 2,000-acre food production, processing and distribution center to generate thousands of jobs for their clients, recovering addicts. Shar is slated to begin with a 30-acre pilot farm. Bing did not say which of these initiatives (or another project) would be the subject of his announcement.

In the interview, Bing also expressed reservations about large scale urban agriculture. Bing stated that the city was “not going to go full steam ahead….We want to look at a template, and see if it makes good economic sense before we commission a large portion of land to anyone.” Bing added that “if we’re going to look at the agricultural industry as something that has success in Detroit, it’s got to be a well-thought out designed plan, and we’re not there yet… but there are a lot of people showing a lot of interest in getting on-board…and we’re going to be open-minded to it.”

To listen to the interview, go to

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