That said, I'm really excited about this. The project is removing blight and contributing much needed tax dollars to the city.
From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) [bouvier]:
FOREST. By the English law, a forest is a circuit of ground properly under
the king's protection, for the peaceable living and abiding of beasts of
hunting and the chase, and distinguished not only by having bounds and
privileges, but also by having courts and offices. 12 do. 22. The
signification of forest in the United States is the popular one of an
extensive piece of woodland. Vide Purlieu.
Before anyone freaks out, note that (as ChuckMcM said) all these trees are almost exactly the same size/age. This isn't an old-growth forest -- it's a lot closer to harvesting a field of corn.
Judging from the comments on the video, there are plenty of people who do.
I wasn't sure if that sort thing counts as a forest though, or whether there was some implication of a more varied natural ecosystem.
[That's an extreme example and there are better sorts of managed woodlands of course, e.g. Japan is famous for them.]
There are groups trying to restore the ancient Caledonian Forest:
There are also attempts to restore wildlife as well - the White Tailed Sea Eagle has been re-introduced as well as beavers in one location. Some people even want to have wolves and lynxes brought back...
I don't know what the Norwegians must think; they give us these birds as part of a big expensive reintroduction program and then a bunch of rich toffs go around shooting them and destroying the nests because they think they might disturb their grouse shoots.
The Forest of Dean is an interesting planting. It's mostly an older trees - they were planted in the late 1700's to provide timber for the next set of wooden warships, once they matured: 150-200 years after planting!
I guess the idea behind the mowing is that you want to prevent the weeds from choking out the saplings? Otherwise "mowing" and "forest" seem kind of mutually exclusive to me.
Over the next couple of decades, the trees will start getting a foothold, starting with the faster growing trees, which crowd out all the nasty shrubs but still produce a dense group of small little trees just barely spaced out enough for an adult to get through, then eventually stabilizing on oaks and the other very tall, hard trees, culminating in what one traditionally considers a "forest", something you can walk through because it's mostly very large, mature trees spaced dozens of feet apart. This will take a century or two to progress to the final stable state, depending on how tenacious the smaller trees are.
But if you want to jump straight to that and avoid the middle bit, it takes some maintenance. I assume the promise is a combination of a promise to do that maintenance, and probably to maintain some trails through it.
I could have sworn I learned a term in school for this sort of "biome progression" to what I thought was the "terminal biome" (the final, stable biome that results) but Google does not agree. Anyone who remembers their biology better than I, I'd be much obliged for the term.
I think the term you were looking for was a "climax community."
I see Google says the idea has fallen out of favor, though even when I was taught it I was taught that the oak trees will still fall, creating clearings, which then march back through the same progression, so even then it was only notionally "climax".
In the years I've lived here I have been amazed at how rapidly trees grow. The bottom of our pasture was mostly tall grass and a few tiny saplings. They are now approaching 10 feet tall and need to be bush hogged because they are interfering with the growth of grass. At the same time, the undergrowth in the area we have left untouched (the rest is horse pasture) is amazing. There are wild apple trees, enough wild grapes that I made a 5-gallon batch of wine a few years ago, raspberry bushes and stuff I can't even name.
tl;dr - I'm seeing that in my backyard right now.
Additionally, Park Avenue was on e an example of this when it used to be a park that stretched from Central Park to Battery Park:
Here's park avenue in the 1920s:
Park Avenue (used to be 4th Avenue) has probably changed more than most Avenues in NYC. Here are some images of when railroads ran down it.
You may also enjoy seeing these photos of the NYC mansions from back in the day:
I grabbed that address and plugged it into Google Maps, so the pin here is the northern corner:
Edit: and according to Google Maps, "Indian Village" (home of the developer) is literally the southwestern edge of the area.
PS: I know nothing about Detroit, this is all just looking at a map.
It was recently the subject of a conservative utopian fantasy.
Showing more of the city:
Not sure how to make this a nice link / highlight a region:
Hantz Woodlands' goal is to have at least 15,000 trees planted and 50 blighted structures torn down in two years on parcels of land that weave in and out of existing neighborhoods.
So it wouldn't be appropriate for Google to accept that edit.
Will Detroit be the hot new startup city of 2045?
What do you mean by this? Cities in North America tend to be on rivers, and isolated poor location choices (Las Vegas, Phoenix, a few CA cities, etc) don't translate to problems in other cities since they are on different aquifer. As far as I can tell, there is no threat to the water supply in most American cities. Egypt/Ethiopia's little water spat doesn't threaten water supplies elsewhere, fresh water isn't really a commodity like oil or iron is. If it was, there would be a killing to be made in fresh water arbitrage.
Many cities are facing water shortages. Not just Las Vegas and Phoenix. The Colorado is tapped out, and California, Arizona, and Nevada have been fighting over it for decades. Rainy humid Atlanta was facing water usage controls for several years around 2007-2009. The Floridan aquifer is tapped out--developers are having to dig wells 1,000 feet deep these days to get water. Fracking is in danger of contaminating the Ogallala along with all the water that makes agriculture possible in the breadbasket. San Francisco is not yet in dire straights but Hetchy-Hetch isn't immune to the water problem.
For comparison, water today, where I live, costs slightly under a dollar per cubic meter. So even if my calculation was off by an order of magnitude, desalinated water would be a reasonable option for all US households, well under other budget items like cost of food.
Industry that depends on cheap water might be different, but how much of that is stuck in places without good water supply?
I'm not trying to suggest that if normal sources of water magically disappeared then things would be okay. I'm just saying that under possible circumstances there won't be any reason to fight to the death over water. Because of the desalination option, water shortages wouldn't be able to threaten anyone's life, only force businesses to adapt or move.
Also according to http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/Animal-products even without any efficiency improvements caused by high water costs, pig would be $3 a pound more expensive and cow would be $7 a pound more. Easily afforded.
With such speculation, I could have a premonition of an alternative future where the initial settlers near all freshwater die, as the more aggressive and desperate peoples fight for the area, and this potentiality has as much merit as yours.
Also, why even say Detroit will come back if the original inhabitants are all but gone, and the area has been resettled by others? If Detroit's coming back in 2045, then [insert any maritime city/town/village/location/space] is too!
Detroit is allowing experiments that I just don't see in other cities. I am personally excited about unearthing the many rivers that were buried.
Because so much of the land is empty the cost of unearthing the rivers in minimal. Years ago I did genealogical research in one of the city's older cemeteries and was just stunned to see this very pretty stream running through it with clear water. People laugh but Detroit could become America's Venice by 2045.
Course none of this is talked about by the national media at all.
Now Detroit has gone back to districts. While it is quite controversial how those district lines were drawn the nature of candidates is changing. You've got school teachers and small businessmen running and they're doing it by depending less on radio and TV advertising and more on going door to door. We won't know for several years whether it makes a difference but I am hopeful.
There is also a young professional class downtown that weren't there a few years ago and are making their influence known in the mayors race.
The company has committed to... mowing regwlarly
EDIT: pmorici explains it better than I
One well-known park came about after the purchase of a vineyard from Nicholas Longworth:
This isn't to say that I'm not happy for them; I just don't want to find myself in the same situation.
I'm not arguing against this happening, I am happy they are improving their city. All I'm saying is that I hope I never find my citing in a position where we say "whelp, we have massive chunks of deserted unkempt land, lets knock down these abandoned condemned buildings and make a forest". While that action is an improvement, being in that position in the first place implies a shitty situation all around.
Kind of like how somebody getting a new fancy robot arm is great, but I certainly don't want to get one myself because that would imply that I had lost my arm.
From the article: "There are over 200,000 abandoned parcels of land and—by debatable estimates—30,000 acres of abandoned property" (this is according to the developer). Wolfram Alpha puts the entirety of San Francisco at 29,998 acres.