Despite Detroit’s well-documented problems as it searches for stability in the wake of failing industries and job loss, the city appears to be quietly emerging as an incubator for creative projects that look for ways to reinvent it from the ground up. The metaphor of city as canvas works especially well for Detroit, a city seeking a new identity. This relatively ‘open’ landscape, coupled with inexpensive living and even cheaper real estate, make Detroit an ideal setting for these roots rebuilding efforts.
One such endeavor, is the micro-real estate financing being proposed by project Loveland, a somewhat outsider undertaking that taps into the pioneering spirit and leverages the connectivity of the internet. The vision of artist Jerry Paffendorf, Loveland explores the idea of collective ownership alongside notions of community and the use public space as we increasingly divide our time between real and virtual worlds.
For one dollar, interested patrons can invest in one square inch of land located at 8887 East Vernor Highway in Detroit, helping to establish the first colony and pave the way for various creative ventures to take place. Though somewhat unclear, it appears that investors of any scale are entitled to interact with the property both online and offline, transforming the land in some mutually agreed upon manner, with a goal of purchasing numerous pieces of real estate throughout the city and “developing” them around certain themes.
As Paffendorf says on the Loveland site, “My dream is to make a wild creative studio for the 21st century, and I have a feeling that Detroit will make a great place to figure that out and jack into, what with so much of it being rebuilt, redesigned and re-conceived.”
While the project still seems to be finding a clear direction, it’s certainly an ambitious and exciting approach to the next decade and one we will be paying close attention to.
[image via ashleystreet on Flickr]