Detroit, USA

Detroit Cultivator

A 6-acre landscape that combines food production, cultural activity, and civic assets to strengthen the social and economic fabric of the community.
Photo: Jacob Lewkow

Detroit Cultivator is the first and only community land trust in Detroit. What began as a multi-disciplinary effort to transform the six-acre Oakland Avenue Urban Farm into an experimental urban prototype for equitable regeneration has emerged as a collective vision that combines agricultural production, cultural activity, and ecological stewardship.

There are over 1300 farms and gardens currently operating in Detroit: some cover 40 acres; others convert a single lot into a resource for a few families. While the substantive benefits of urban agriculture are clear, few initiatives have evolved into sustainable models for the collective management of the postmodern, neo-rural landscape. Detroit Cultivator admits that design alone cannot provide a solution. Accordingly, it looks to a range of local leaders and professional experts to work together toward a common good.

Anya Sirota
Architectural Designer, Principal Akoaki
Partner: Oakland Avenue Urban Farm and Fellow Citizen
“The Commons has emerged as instrumental in the frontline against social fragmentation, economic disparity, and inequity. Aware of its potential, a growing cadre of designers and theorists, moving beyond a narrow focus on form in the built environment, has embraced the generation of governance structures as central to new modes of practice.”
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