Released earlier this month, Detroit Future City is a 50-year blueprint for the revitalisation of Detroit.
The city — which lost a quarter-million people in the last decade — currently has at least 30,000 empty homes and 20 square miles of vacant land. The 349-page strategic framework focuses on job growth, land use, improving neighbourhoods and rebuilding infrastructure.
Boston based planning studio Stoss Landscape Urbanism developed the long-term open space framework within the plan, which is based on tactical redistribution of key resources including hydrologies, transit, food and waste systems. According to Stoss, “The plan positions landscape as 21st century infrastructure and looks to landscape as a catalyst to transform vacant land.”
Writing in Topos 80, academic Jane Amidon (North-eastern University School of Architecture) describes Stoss’ approach as a good example of “resourcing versus resolving” – a resource scenario (as apposed to a concrete master plan) doesn’t solve but rather identifies what’s viable, while illuminating the messy contingencies involved. She writes: “The big ideas of the Detroit Works Project include ecology as urbanism and identity; the spatialized applications include linking vacant lots and under-utilised zones into blue and green corridors for storm water management, habitat, recreation and academic research. The focus on resource distribution versus formal solutions allows flexibility in discussion of how things will turn out.”
If you’d like to keep up to date with the Detroit Works Project, you can follow their Facebook Page here.
A copy of Detroit Future City is available to download here.
To purchase a copy of Topos 80 – where you can read the full article by Jane Amidon, visit the Callwey Shop.
And just for fun, potentially the most dramatic planning-film ever made: