Hatinger grew his fish and greens in a manner where the waste from the fish was able to provide nutrients to help the greens grow which, in turn, filtered the water which was able to flow back into the tanks of the fish, thus creating a symbiotic cycle of decay and rebirth. This cycle parallels the life cycle that can be witnessed firsthand in Detroit -- homes that are decaying, homes being rebuilt from the ground up, and empty lots where homes used to be.
Despite the considerable influence on the economy derived from influential figures like Mike Duggan or Dan Gilbert, the combined influence of many smaller players bears a larger influence on Detroit— as put by Ager, “Nowhere else in urban America can you do so much with so little money.” Because of this, native Detroiters all bear the common thread of retaining faith in their city, despite an uncertain future. During my time in Detroit so far, I have also witnessed this spirit within the people here. Whether a museum guide, store owner, or an uber driver, Detroiters’ hearts belong to the city. Upon mentioning that I am not from Detroit, I am always asked if it is my first time visiting the city and how I feel about it so far. When I mention that my expectations for the city were exceeded, all Detroiters rave about the city’s deep history and rich culture that impresses its visitors without fail.
As important as Detroit’s big companies are, the micro influence from Detroiters driven by their faith in their city fuels the rebuilding of their city. Detroit is a powerful demonstration of the magnitude of collective efforts and the importance of small businesses for an economy.