Features » March 17, 2011 » Web Only
Detroit’s Grassroots Economies
Behind the doom-and-gloom headlines, a collective response to the city’s problems is already happening.
Two citywide networks exemplify the grassroots’ ability to do what the city, the corporate sector and philanthropic community cannot: create a vision for economic development that includes all Detroiters.
Detroiters are redefining “economy.” Throughout the 20th century, companies comprising Detroit’s industrial economy provided jobs to people who bought things and paid taxes to government, which provided services. In Detroit’s grassroots economy, which has evolved over many decades, people are creating their own jobs and exchanging local resources directly. Communities are solving basic economic and human problems collectively. At the same time, they are producing new knowledge and resources, restoring relationships across generations, and healing neighborhoods. (Read more)