walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Another Chicago Urban Farm (maybe)

http://www.suntimes.com/business/6357849-420/rogers-park-harvests-plan-for-open-land-that-could-become-urban-farm.html

While this fits in with what I was posting about earlier today, it has some interesting components.

"a two-acre site that 20 years ago was the home of Lerner Newspapers. Royal Bank of Canada is foreclosing on the land. The city invited developer proposals for the property a few years ago, but nobody responded."

It _used_ to have something commercial on the site: a newspaper! It is going through foreclosure. City efforts to get a developer to build on the plot have failed.

This is almost exactly like something out of the early 20th century: empty lot, down times, looking for development -- ideally something that could be readily converted to a "higher" use should good times return -- and looking for partners to actually implement, those partners likely to be charitable organizations.

The next boom almost always eliminated these kinds of urban parks, as infill development replaced them with mid- or high- rises. It was a discouraging experience for people who were committed to farming, because any soil improvement they might accomplish would not be there for them to appreciate. However, for those groups prepared to container garden and move on and who were not committed to a particular site, it was always nice to have something close in with lots of local customers.
Tags: food, our future economy today, politics, zoning
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