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Rita J. King

Update on "inchvesting" in Detroit

TURNING INTO GODS - 'Concept Teaser' from Jason Silva, a resident of the Imagination Age in Loveland, who believes that it's possible for life in our hybrid community to go on forever, and ever, and ever...

If you saw a tiny inch-tall horse standing among thoroughbreds, would you bet on it? You might if you suspected it could grow during the race and at some point, before the finish line, turn into a flying dragon. That's what I thought about when Jerry Paffendorf first told me about his plans for the Loveland project in Detroit.

I bought one thousand square inches (for $1 each) in Loveland's first microhood, Plymouth. This neighborhood is called the Imagination Age. There are 588 residents of Plymouth including Jane McGonigal, Christian Renaud and Stephen McGee and dozens more in the Imagination Age, among them Grady Booch, Frank Rose and Jason Silva

Some "inchvestors" have been letting Loveland unfold before hatching development plans, but others have been ignited by the pace set by the project's directors. Loveland recently applied for support from the Knight Foundation to support development. Check the project out if you're interested in the future of news and creative approaches to making Detroit the city of the future once again.

Amanda Peterson, an Urban Planning Masters student at the University of Michigan recently reached out to me with her housemate Erin Guido to collaborate on the Imagination Age's urban augmented architecture project: Inchvisible Houses. "Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, has been a great inspiration on the path to Inchvisible Houses. The rise of the small but beautifully designed home is just beginning, and so is the rise of young people creating their own futures.

Investing in Detroit by the square inch

Boingboing Loveland Image Over a year ago, my friend Jerry Paffendorf showed up at a party with a picture of a ruler on his shirt and the words, "Iʼve got twelve inches in Detroit."

He explained his new project, Loveland, describing it as a series of micro-hoods made of inches that he would sell for $1 each. Some of the people stood around looking puzzled or skeptical about the prospect of a bicoastal urban techno-hipster moving into Detroit to sell tiny parcels -- and for what?

Iʼve worked extensively in blighted cities before, though, and the idea that we should avoid them because theyʼre suffering is, at best, no different than ignoring a sick friend. At worst itʼs contributing to the decay and neglect eroding many American cities. I became the first "inchvestor" in Loveland on the spot.

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