Thursday, December 31, 2009

Green shoots in Detroit

Markets recycle resources. This story mentions the conversion of parts of Detroit to farmland.

Growing cities reallocate peripheral land from rural to urban uses, but the reverse can also be an option. Some of the older places (New York, Boston) have been able to renew themselves by adapting to new technologies and industries. But not all cities can do this, including various places in the northeast and north central. Detroit may be the prime example. What else, then, but have it shrink? The highest and best use of some of its acres is in farming.

"Saving" GM and Chrysler is politically expedient, but land, labor and capital are best reallocated and recycled when politics are not involved.

In good times and in bad, the capability to reallocate scarce resources to their highest and best uses has first-order importance. Detroit's urban farmers show the way in bad times.