Looking back to move forward

IMG_20170331_181451_783Today we took part of a lecture in Ann Arbor organised by the University of Michigan entitled Detroit 67, looking back to move forward and presented by Toby Voigt, from the Detroit Historical Society. The speech focused on the 67′ riots and how Detroit can learn from his past for grew up better in the future. On June 27, inside the Detroit Historical Museum (5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202) will open an exibition in occasion of the 50th anniversary of these riot events. Rather than talked about historical facts, the lecture verted in particular to the Detroit Historical Society’s activity and the imminent exibition for the 50th anniversary of 67′ riots opening, but in general was interesting for the engagement of local communities for the establishment of the exibit and, in general, for the Detroit Historical Society’s activities and, after the event, we’ve talked with Toby Voigt about a potential appointment.

During the lecture, a mention of the book Detroit 1967, origin, impacts, legacies edited by Joel Stone with a forehomas J.Surgue (2017, Wayne State University Press) that examines relationship between black and white Detroit residents through the lens of 1967, fifty years later.

It will be our next purchase!

Detroit Historical Society

Detroit Historical Museum

UM Museum of Art – Museum studies program

Detroit 1967: origins, impacts, legacies

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Food for thought #2

Oh, here’s where people are gone!

Ann Arbor is completely the opposite of Detroit: full of people, shops, activities, new houses, cars and, in general, mobility (also if in front of some houses there are real estate agencies’ adverts)! Of course it’s because of the presence of the UM University, but the difference is considerable and emerges the fact that in Detroit, despite last years in which the city is recovering and is finding his identity, the way is still a long.

 

Maurice Cox in conversation

IMG_20170331_181616_302This evening, at MOCAD (Museum Of Contemporary Art of Detroit) Maurice Cox, the city’s planning director discussed with Detroiters his role in city government and his vision for the reinvention of Detroit. In MOCAD, these months, there is the exibition The Architectural Imagination, the US Pavillon’s exibition on Venice Biennale 2017.  The conversation was similar to the conference Detroit Revitalization (speech by Maurice Cox, Raquel Castaneda-Lopez and Julie Egan) but with more references to the Detroit’s reality, new projects in action and local iniziatives/associations. The concept of 20-minutes neighborhood was very interesting, and also the idea to “build” a linear green park around the city that connect differents areas with paths and areas for sport and leisure activities. In particular Maurice Cox’s planning team is working on Fitzgerald Neighborhood with the Fitzgerald Revitalisation Project, that provided community involvement in planning processes.

After the lecture a few questions, and after that we asked to Maurice Cox a meeting for discuss about our work and he’s kindly given us his concact informations.

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MOCADetroit

Detroit Free Press

The Fitzgerald Neighborhood

Detroit Government

Through the city

Where are people?

After a tour in some neighborhoods and in Downtown we can say that there aren’t people on the streets. Despite her regeneration process Detroit is still an empty city.

Maurice Cox – “What is a good walk in Detroit for you?”

Cynthia Davidson – “Every time i’m in Detroit, i go out to walk, and i encounter mabe half a douzen other pedestrian”

Maurice Cox – “i grew up in New York city. If i had to define a good walk i’d say it involves a continuous line of buildings and storefronts that accompany you every step of the way. […] But what do you do in a city like Detroit that doesn’t have a continuous wall of storefronts and homes along your walk? What do you do when the population, wich in Detroit is a little under 700.000, is dispersed over such a vaste area that you don’t have the critical mass of people for people watching? […] A good Detroit Walk might be more like a walk in the parck. It might be more pastoral-quet and more solitary. I’m interested in exploring what this might mean in the city. One thing it can’t be is vacant. You can’t be walking next to abandoned buildings thats the current condition, and it creates a sense of despire. If the landscape of your walk feels vacant, feels uncared for, and is punctuated by blight, you won’t want to walk very far. […] Now solve that problem”

*an interview to Maurice Cox by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce De Leon, “The architectural imagination”, catalogue 37, Anyone Corporation, summer 2016

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Here we are!

First day in Detroit

We arrived yesterday evening by car and the first impression was “where are we finished?” but today, with the sun, the city seems better. A short tour in our neighborhood and we went in Downtown (at 6 PM is completely empty). After a brief tour in a tipical american grocery store full of all kind of packaged food we decided do go to Whole Food for fruit and vegetables. It cost but the quality is good!

Food for thought #1

Of course in a city without a public transportation system, without trains or subway, people commute by car. And where people leave their cars? In enourmous parcking building! They are an integral part of the city and contributes of create the skyline.

Mabe are they a planning theme for architects?

Parcheggi in città