Urban Revitalization: Small Steps Yield Big Results


We talk so often on TreeHugger about the importance of cities, about the need to revitalize and re-inhabit our downtowns, and what valuable assets the infrastructures of Detroit and other rust belt cities are. Therefore we can't help but be excited by the Onion's story of what happened in Detroit's Warrendale neighbourhood after the Beautification Committee spent $ 150 to build a three foot by four foot urban park. The Onion says:

The green space, a rectangular patch of crabgrass located on a busy median divider, has by all accounts turned what was once a rundown community into a thriving, picturesque oasis, filled with charming shops, luxury condominiums, and, for the first time ever, hope.


"What we've seen here is amazing," Warrendale Beautification Committee chairman Michael Pulowski said of the $150 city-funded initiative. "Not only do residents feel better about themselves, but our streets are now totally safe, employment is up, and our children's test scores are through the roof. It's hard to believe this is even the same neighborhood anymore."


Warrendale's incredible transformation began early Monday morning when city officials laid down the yard-wide strip of sod. Two days later, dozens of boarded-up businesses were suddenly bustling with customers, and streets once littered with hypodermic needles were instead plastered with colorful murals.

"It all happened so quickly," said resident Jeffrey Huza, who watched the sliver of lawn single-handedly attract tourism, reduce air pollution, and bring a sense of peace and tranquility to the area. "I always knew a little green would do our neighborhood good, but I never thought we'd benefit this much."

Read the entire heartwarming and inspirational story at ::The Onion