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Head to Eastern Market for new Tuesday shopping days

More fresh food and fun awaits during a new day of shopping at Eastern Market. From July 12 through Sept. 27, Shed 2 of the open-air marketplace will be open to the public -- a great way stock up on eats while avoiding the Saturday crowds. Stop by every Tuesday this summer from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Shed 2 is located at the corner of Russell and Winder streets.

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"Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays" will feature a sampling our historic Saturday Market experience though the inclusion of farmers, flowers, produce dealers, specialty products, and prepared-food vendors. In addition, "Tuesdays" will be a weekly community celebration including special events highlighting the agricultural, social, culinary, and artistic treasures of our city, region, and state.

Find out more here.

Video: Chronicling Detroit's two-wheeled transformation

Set to smooth hip-hop beats, this 13-minute doc called "Detroit Bike City" celebrates our city's ever-growing trend toward two wheels. From bike clubs like the East Side Riders to tricked-out rides and kids learning about bikes at The Hub, this video is a beauty. Filmed and produced by Alex Gallegos.

Watch the doc here.

Grace Lee Boggs: How a Detroit Summer plants the seeds of revolution

When longtime Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs started the Detroit Summer program in 1992, her vision was of a multi-generational collective sharing ideas and efforts to rebuild the community. She knew the work would be slow -- one empty lot, one potluck, one garden at a time.

But in a passage from her new book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century, Boggs says she rejected the more typical (and large-scale) frameworks of a left-wing organization or sizable nonprofit, noting, "the system continues to function because neither carries the potential to transform society."

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" ... our hope was that Detroit Summer would bring about a new vision and model of community activism -- one that was particularly responsive to the new challenges posed by the conditions of life and struggle in the postindustrial city. We did not feel this could be accomplished if control of our activities was ceded to the dictates of government or the private sector, even though this meant that we would be working on a small scale. However, by working on this scale, we could pay much closer and greater attention to the relationships we were building among ourselves and with communities in Detroit and beyond.

Read more here.

The future of Cass Avenue, a struggle between commercial growth and gardens

Mlive's Jeff Wattrick produced an in-depth commentary on the fate of the two Cass Corridor land parcels sold to Midtown doggie daycare Canine to Five. The land's been informally used by Birdtown Gardens for urban gardening.

As Wattrick writes, this was about more than just one garden -- it's bound to be a guiding case for City Council as Detroit attempts to rectify its interests in urban agriculture with the needs of local entrepreneurs like Canine's Liz Blondy. And while Wattrick supports the desires of urban agriculture, he warns that, without entrepreneurs, gardening alone won't save the city.

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Still, Detroit has 60,000 vacant city-owned parcels. Even if gardening doesn't help make Detroit "look like Chicago," to quote Councilman Ken Cockrel, it is an exponentially better use for vacant land than ad hoc tire dumps or shooting galleries for dopeheads. Even the densest of cities, say Manhattan, find small pockets for green space. In other words, there is plenty of room for Detroit to be a real city while accommodating reasonable urban gardening.

Read the whole article here.

Green Garage to expand by summer's end

Between five and eight environmentally-focused companies will move into Tom and Peggy Noonan's Green Garage in Midtown, which will roll open its doors to offer Detroit a sustainable center for going green. The couple, who purchased the warehouse with retirement money, have transformed the vacant building into an almost completely efficient building (think rain water catching systems, solar panel energy and more). A team of entrepreneurs working out of the Garage are also doing business by the same ethos.

One company moving into the Green Garage is building furniture -- but this isn't your ordinary hand-crafted stuff.

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Their merchandise will be made from wood and other materials they gather from abandoned homes in Detroit. The entrepreneur plans to purchase the materials from the rightful owners, such as the city or a bank. To make the furniture more meaningful, the owner plans to engrave the house address that the materials came from right onto the furniture. He also plans to include a brief history of the home the material came from so the owner of the furniture can own a small piece of Detroit's history.

Check out the story and slideshow here.

Spin a Movement bike tour with Wheelhouse Detroit

A new bike tour dubbed 'Techno in the 313" offered through Wheelhouse Detroit will give Movement participants the opportunity to glimpse the biggest sites in Detroit's electronic music history next weekend.

The Packard Plant, the Underground Resistance Headquarters and The Music Institute are just a few of the landmarks riders will experience during the two tours, which take place Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30.

The two tours are capped at 15 riders each; so get your wheels spinning and book a spot at wheelhousedetroit.com. The Wheelhouse is also offering significant discounts to any rider with a Movement wristband.

Detroit now worthy of nationwide hipster consideration

Sociologists know that hipsters, that particular breed of 20-something cultural "vanguards," cannot survive in merely any city. Any healthy and happy hipster needs dive bars that serve PBR, vintage shops, grimy music venues, post-industrial art spaces and other habitat features in order to thrive.

We found this funny picture on Flickr. Detroit is now worthy of a slot on the "Post-Grad Hipster's Guide to Inhabitable U.S. Cities." Rejoice! We're labeled on the map, along with this caption: Detroit "Street Cred; Something vague about hopeful post-apocalyptic gardening," Michigan.

See which other hipster hangouts made the list.

Detroit's journey from mean to green wins admiration from the Times

"The gardens are everywhere," writes food scribe Mark Bittman in a moving editorial in the New York Times Opinionator blog. His chronicle of a visit to our city describes Detroit's burgeoning food movement powered by the breadth of our residents' imagination -- and the belief that only we will turn this city around. Local food in public schools. The Peaches & Greens produce truck. And acres and acres of cultivated land, harvesting not only food, but a key to this city's future. If the journey is as important as the destination, Bittman concludes, Detroit's back-to-basics green revival is already a success story.

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As Jackie Victor, co-owner of the Avalon Bakery, an unofficial meeting place for the Detroit food movement, says to me, "Imagine a city, rebuilt block by block, with a gorgeous riverfront, world class museums and fantastic local food. Everyone who wants one has a quarter-acre garden, and every kid lives within bike distance of a farm."

Imagine. Read more here.

Nonprofit teams with Coca-Cola, Home Depot to plant pick-your-own gardens

A new nonprofit is planting nine vegetable gardens around the city, allowing the city's hungry to stop by and pick their own produce. Urban Farming founder Taja Sevelle teamed up with Coca-Cola and Home Depot to fund the gardens. They'll all feature a rain barrel system that provides irrigation. Any garden with the Urban Farming logo will invite residents to help themselves to some vegetables, 24/7.

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At the Urban Farming garden we visited at Linwood and Gladstone, the soon to be planted rows will yield a variety of produce. "Fresh collard greens, fresh tomatoes, fresh peppers, fresh carrots -- anything you can think of at the grocery store you can get here," said Sevelle. "This is in the middle of a food desert, which means that there are no grocery stores in this area."

Watch the whole story here.

Wrap the train station in solar panels? LTU thinks green for Southwest Detroit

Imagine the Michigan Central Station covered in solar panels and wind turbines, providing energy to the surrounding neighborhood. Sound crazy? That might be one way to describe this team of thinkers from Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield -- but their ideas for making Southwest Detroit the city's first net-zero community, meaning it would produce more energy than it uses, recently won LTU Professor Constance Budurow's Studio (C) a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.

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Beyond producing some alternative energy for the district, the LTU team sees the idea as a catalyst for further experimentation, said Jordan Martin, 24, a recent LTU graduate in urban design. "We want to start that brainwork and then hope that that would spark further growth and opportunities for the people," Martin said. Other tactics suggested by the team include creating more public transit and more green infrastructure, like the planned extension of the RiverWalk west of downtown.

Tap into the LTU buzz here.

The D named a top 10 leader in energy-efficient construction

Add another feather to your cap, Detroiters. Our city recently cracked the list of top 10 cities in terms of designating energy-efficient commercial buildings, released annually by the EPA. Coming in at number nine (up from 15 in 2009), 151 buildings were named Energy Star efficient in the Motor City during 2010, which adds up to 27.4 million square feet of environmentally-friendly floorspace and $18.7 million in cost savings. Los Angeles tops the list, but we still rank ahead of green-thinking cities like Portland, Seattle and Denver.

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In this case, that means commercial buildings that have earned an Energy Star rating that signifies they consume 35 percent less energy and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than average buildings. "Through their partnership with Energy Star, metropolitan areas across the U.S. are saving a combined $1.9 billion in energy costs every year while developing new ways to shrink energy bills and keep our air clean," EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a statement.

Check the list out here.

Motor City goes green in new video

Detroit once had the dubious honor of being the nation's largest city without a comprehensive recycling program. Thanks to the efforts of Recycle Here's Matthew Naimi and Steve Haworth, Detroit's made great steps in reducing waste and green education. A new video, "Shifting Gears: Going Green in the Motor City," follows Naimi and Haworth's newest venture, Green Safe Products, which provides recyclable and compostable cups, plates, cutlery and more to area restaurants like Avalon International Breads, the Woodbridge Pub and Mudgie's. And as many local restaurant owners point out, using environmentally-friendly products like Green Safe doesn't just make good green sense -- it's good business sense and marketing, too.

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"It's a great example of how zero waste can work really, really well, not only for the environment, but for the economy as well. It's all just part of giving back and being sustainable, which is a huge thing in Detroit right now."

Watch and learn here.

The path to cultivate urban farms? It's a winding road

For two years, John Hantz has kept a dream alive -- building the world's largest urban farm within Detroit's city limits. But a new editorial in The Detroit News reveals he's been waylaid by plans for the Detroit Works Project and uncertainty over applying the Michigan Right to Farm Law to an urban environment. Meanwhile, Hantz, who has already invested over $1 million into his project, is cooling his heels, with word on the street that one project will soon come up for a vote in front of City Council.

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The Hantz project will allow him to clear about 5 acres, create a 1-acre berry farm and use a high-tech approach to growing apples on a grid. Instead of selling food, Hantz, the capitalist, agrees not to sell. It's a U-Pick, U No Pay plan that's far from the entrepreneur's original -- and eventual -- intention. The deal allows Hantz to buy 20 city lots on Brimson, Dwyer and St. Louis streets for $6,800 -- a pittance until you realize that he's going to tear down a vacant building, clear the land and return abandoned property to the tax rolls.

Read more here.

Want a tech job? Move to Detroit.

For those who think Detroit's future is only tied to urban farmlands or auto plants, think again: the Motor City is quickly making serious gains in the technology sector.

This month, Detroit bested every single city in the nation with 101 percent job growth for technology job openings, according to Dice.com. Every day, there are more than 800 available tech positions for hire -- and let's not forget they draw an average salary of $71,445 in the D (up two percent from 2010).

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Of course, it can be argued that Detroit and many other cities in the region were in bad shape economically a year ago, so any growth at all is going to be significant.  But the Detroit area also has its share of determined visionaries who seek to create a sustainable entrepreneurial climate, with new types of businesses to replace its auto industry base.

Detroit as the next Silicon Valley? Maybe not today, but don't stop believin.' See the numbers for yourself.

Danish students make film highlighting Detroit's underground vibes and "fantastic potential"

Three Danish students journeyed to our fair city last summer to make a documentary on Detroit's urban planning ideas and what they could do for our future. Don't get turned off by the academic mission -- the ambient soundtrack, glimpses inside hair salons and liquor stores and Public Pool, meditations on urban pheasants and the Michigan Central station, all add up to one arresting and thought-provoking short film from our friends at Roskilde University.

Copenhagenize.com writes:

They'll highlight a city that was home to the Big Three -- Ford, Chrysler and GM and that gave the world Motown and Techno. A city that lost half of its population in just 50 years and where this year alone 3000 houses will be torn down.

A city that has the fantastic potential to be the first large city in the world to produce all of its foodstuffs within the city limits. A city that is fighting economic meltdown and brutal budget cuts. A city with a blossoming underground and art scene.

Views of Detroit was presented Feb 3 in Copenhagen, and a segment that featured a slow, hypnotic ride on the People Mover (with music by Hamtramck-based sound artist Jennifer Paull) screened last week at Public Pool.
91 Green Articles | Page: | Show All
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