After four years of negotiations with the city, and vocal public opposition, plans by Detroit to sell 1,500 city-owned plots for $520,000 to John Hantz for the creation of his ambitious "Hantz Woodlands" project were narrowly approved by the City Council this week, reports Steve Pardo. The first phases of the project will see the demolition of structures, removal of trash, and title work (at a cost of $3.2 million) and the planting of at least 15,000 trees that "would eventually be used for commercial purposes" once the city passes an urban agriculture ordinance.
Some see in this deal elements that are identical to colonial and post-colonial exploitation. Also, there are about 100 humans living in this land after time—meaning, land that's outside of the dominant economic system. It does indeed strike the mind as strange that trees will be used to return this vacant land to the productive processes and cycles of capitalism. This confusion of codes, tropes, and narratives indicates that Detroit really is a city in the future.