'From The Ground Up' is a project Nick Tobier is working on with a group of students from the Univerity of Michigan. They are living and working in the city, building an orchard and constructing an outdoor classroom with EarthWorks Urban Farm and working through the radical food and community networks in the city of Detroit.
"Easy access to easy food is what we as a nation leave to Detroit and to so many of our inner cities. The cumulative effects of this are manifold--from childhood obesity, to lack of choice, from the loss of a connection to culturally significant foods to an abrogation of the bond between people and place.
Walk a few blocks parallel to the major streets in Detroit and a potential solution to these concerns is visible. Through hard work, residents of many Detroit neighborhoods are answering their concerns through gardens. Breaking rough ground to plant delicate seeds is an act that requires nourishment and nurturing. The fruits (or vegetables) of this willingness to wrestle something fantastic and vital out of what has been left to decay is a creative act that, like other art forms, is often relegated or isolated as a luxury, while in fact it is central to culture ... "
The project intersects with recent public debate in Copenhagen about air pollution in the city. In collaboration with Senior Scientist Jørgen Brandt from The National Environmental Research Institute in Denmark a first prototype is developed for making an indicator that can be placed in the city and display local levels of pollution as well as pollution forecasts on individual streets. The project holds an open source script for displaying data from the Internet in a variety of forms.