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Transcript of Detroit, MI: The Past and Present of the American · PDF fileEvolving Significance of Detroit...

  • Detroit, MI: The Past and Present of the American City

    Julianna Tschirhart

  • Evolving Significance of Detroit Detroit as American Dream Detroit as American Nightmare Detroit as Laboratory for the 21st Century American City

    Content analysis of national news publications New York Times, TIME, Newsweek

  • Detroit Today Second-most segregated metropolitan area in the nation

    Detroit = 77% black Suburbs = 84% white

    Population 1950: 1.8 million people 2010: 713 thousand people A 25% decrease in 10 years, lowest population since 1910

    Vacancy 1/3 of 140 square miles

    Poverty 33% live below poverty line

    Unemployment Nearly 30%

    Education $219 million deficit Detroit Public Schools 1/4 of schools to close by June 2011 47% adults functionally illiterate

    Crime 1,200 violent crimes per 100,000 people (highest in 2009)

    Vacancy in Detroit

  • 2nd most segregated City: Detroit = 77% Black, Suburbs = 84% White

  • Detroit as the American Dream Detroit, and the automobile it manufactures, have changed the face of the world. Though by

    global standards Detroit is not a large town, it is probably as well known throughout the world as any town in existence. It is the symbol of the almost incredible productive

    capacity of America. -Sam Boal in the New York Times, 1951

    Arsenal of Democracy Automobile Industry

    Wealth Mobility

    Modernist/Fordist progress narrative of society

  • Detroit as the American Nightmare

    Crime Nostalgia and ruins Racialized inner-city proletariat, affluent

    suburbs Failure of Fordist economic model and

    modernist progress narrative

    How can you begin to describe a disaster the size of the nations sixth largest city? -John Lowell on Detroit in Newsweek Magazine, 1976

    From top left: Arresting black youth in Detroit; Woodward Dream Cruise; Michigan Central Station

  • Fixing Detroit: A Laboratory for Saving Americas Cities?

    The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character of America in the 21st century. If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it cant find a way

    to get up, what does that say about our future? -Daniel Orkent in TIME Magazine, 2009

    Emergent Narrative Reclamation of Detroit for America Democratization of discourse of civil society through media-

    based organizing Detroit offers new model for

    conceptualizing the American city in the 21st century

  • Aspects of Revitalization Shrinkage or right-sizing Urban gardening Art Entrepreneurialism Media-based organizing Second United States Social Forum

    Slows Bar BQ Earthworks Urban Farm Heidelberg Project

  • Detroit Becomes Cool Distinction and gentrification Complications of blank canvas narrative

    Negates existence of existing residents Little integration Potential to displace existing residents

    Starbucks in Midtown Detroit Detroit is the New Brooklyn

  • Detroit Tells Us City is set of stories being told Identity rooted in place Community involvement as way forward Green sustainability, normalizing shrinkage

  • Selected References Title: http://www.wallpapersweb.com/dlwall.php?image_id=8242 Slide 2

    Stills from Chrysler Advertisement, Imported from Detroit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKL254Y_jtc Slide 3

    Duffus, R.L. City that Forges Thunderbolts. New York Times 10 Jan. 1943. Chafets, Zeev. The Battle Lines are Clear and Dangerous: The White Suburbs vs. Black City. New York Times 29 Jul.

    1990. Assignment Detroit Logo. http://www.time.com/time/detroit

    Slide 4: Embracing the Shrink Paradigm. Volume Project 17 Jun. 2009. http://volumeproject.org/blog/2009/06/17/embracing-the-shrink-paradigm/

    Slide 5: New York Times Interactive Census Map 2005-09. http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer Slide 6

    Cars: Daniell, F. Raymond. Detroit: Our Laboratory of Social Change. New York Times 14 Nov. 1937. Smokestacks: Duffus, R.L. City that Forges Thunderbolts. New York Times 10 Jan. 1943. Postcard. http://myaimzistrue.blogspot.com/2010_08_01_archive.html

    Slide 7 Woodward Dream Cruise: Roy, Rex. The Urbane Life. http://www.theurbanelife.com/?p=2103 Youth Offenders: Associated Press. Detroit Police Blitz Criminals. May 2010.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2010/05/detroit_police_blitz_criminals.html Michigan Central Station: Marchand, Yves and Romain Meffre. Ruins of Detroit.

    http://www.marchandmeffre.com/detroit/index.html Slide 8: Detroit Evolution Lab. http://handmadedetroit.com/2008/11/12/meet-the-detroit-evolution-lab/ Slide 9

    Slows Bar BQ: http://www.letssavemichigan.com/blog/entry/a-model-citizen-for-detroit/ Earthworks Urban Farm: http://www.cskdetroit.org/EWG/gallery/photogallery/photo.cfm?id=20&catid=5 Heidelberg Project: Photo by self.

    Slide 10 Starbucks: http://www.detroitmidtown.com/05/develop_commre.php?msub=5 Detroit is the New Brooklyn: http://detroitlives.org/wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/brooklyn%20far.JPG

    Slide 11 -Telling Our Detroit Story: http://ourdetroitstory.com/ -Possible Future for Detroit: http://youngstownrenaissance.com/2009/06/youngstown-as-urban-villages/