Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Detroit School of Urban Studies?

Ooh, sounds cool, what is it?
A week ago I attended a forum at the University of Michigan on the question of whether it makes sense to establish a Detroit School of urban studies. First of all, that’s pretty damn fancy. Second, everybody in that room was geeking out over cities, which I found delightful.

photo by Carolyn Lusch--that's me
One panel member made the theoretical case for the new School—planning has traditionally been seen as managing growth, but Detroit is not growing. How does one use planning to manage shrinking or decline?

Another panelist added that Detroit is not on a path of returning the past; rather, the creation of something completely new. We all know that manufacturing in Detroit will never be what it was. Thus, revitalizing is not an appropriate word.

Ok, I’m with you for all that.

But what about…?