From Blight to Beauty

Highland Park, a small city within Metro Detroit, could no longer afford basic residential services in 2011. Many homes were cut off from running water and streetlights were even torn from the sidewalks. That’s when Shamayim "Shu" Harris, along with a group of engineers, futurists, artists, and urban farmers, came together to reimagine one neighbourhood block. With help from Soulardarity, the team began by purchasing solar-powered streetlamps that run virtually cost-free. They have now embarked on a project to transform the entire block into an eco-village, complete with a greenhouse to café food system, a marketplace, a healing centre, and a homework house. Originally a vacant and abandoned lot, this space will be home to the vibrant, green, and sustainable Avalon Village. The team is currently developing new plans for sustainable power and water infrastructure for the entire block. Harris hopes this project will shine a more positive light on her neighbourhood. She wants to show the world the beauty of her home and how Detroit is still home to innovation.  

To learn more about this project, visit their website.

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