Learning from Detroit
Turbulent Urbanism in the 21st Century

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What Can We Learn from the Motor City?

Our approach to a Michigan Meeting is two-fold. On one hand, we seek to bring scholars together with practitioners (including researchers, urban planners, city officials, economic developers, and community organizers) to discuss what Detroit and its metropolitan region have to teach cities worldwide about the turbulent urbanism of post-industrialism, population shrinkage, and resource decline, as well as how various sectors have attempted to respond to these processes in ways both contentious and collaborative. On the other hand, we want to ask what other regions around the nation and the globe can teach us about the kinds of dynamics we observe in Detroit. To better understand both sides of this equation, we holding an inquiry-based, two-day gathering that will bring together scholars, policy-makers, and activists from Detroit, other U.S. cities, and selected sites in Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, and Asia – wherever scholars are studying similar phenomena – to address questions, compare insights, discuss findings and build the base for a theoretically grounded scholarship on urban decline and post-industrial urban life.