Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


PASLAWSKI, Cynthia, Natural Sciences, University of Michigan - Dearborn, 39717 Peters, Canton, MI 48187,

Detroit was once a thriving manufacturing city in Southeastern Michigan. Unfortunately, Detroit has experienced a half century of depopulation and industrial collapse. Now, much of Detroit is dominated by urban decay, including abandoned factories and homes. While there have been many suggestions for turning the economy around in Detroit, one popular plan is to encourage a shift toward urban agriculture. Moving agriculture to the city would mean lower transportation cost and the possibility of jobs. Current efforts include using empty land for community gardens and small farms many of which are producing food for various food banks. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential for creating large-scale commercial farming as a solution by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create maps of various land-uses (i.e. residential, community gardens, proposed farming projects), and resources (i.e. groundwater, and soil quality). It is believed that since Detroit contains numerous brown-fields, some of which may be contaminated with heavy metals, that urban agriculture may not be a viable option in the immediate future.