Detroit

Over time, cities inhale and exhale. Detroit grew from a frontier trading post to an industrial metropolis, reaching its population peak of about 2 million people in 1955. Since then, like manufacturing cities around the world, Detroit has shrunk, losing over 350,000 jobs and over 1 million residents. Although efforts to revitalize the downtown and riverfront seem to be bearing fruit, over 40,000 land parcels have reverted to city ownership and the city continues to demolish more than ten times the number of housing units it constructs each year. Detroit\'s situation presents unique challenges for the urban planner: how to reconceptualize a city whose physical form accommodates twice its current population. Using extensive research into the origins and scope of Detroit\'s current situation and into possible new uses and their constraints undertaken during a fall term research seminar, students will develop land use strategies and physical plans for Detroit. A student trip to Detroit will be arranged at the beginning of the term to see the city firsthand and to meet with studio sponsors. While students who participated in the fall term research seminar are encouraged to apply for the studio, such participation is not a prerequisite.