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Reinventing Detroit: The Politics of Possibility

Reinventing Detroit: The Politics of Possibility

Lucas Kirkpatrick, a fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows in Taubman College 2012-15, coedited Reinventing Detroit with Michael Peter Smith during his time in the Urban and Regional Planning Program.  The book addresses the questions of what went wrong with Detroit and what can be done to reinvent the Motor City. Various answers to the former—deindustrialization, white flight, and a disappearing tax base—are now well understood. Less discussed are potential paths forward, stemming from alternative explanations of Detroit’s long-term decline and reconsideration of the challenges the city currently faces.

Professor Margaret Dewar authored one of the book’s chapters with graduate students Matthew Weber, Meagan Elliott, Eric Seymour, and Patrick Cooper-McCann.  Out of concern with a growing literature that treats Detroit as a freak city, they call for scholars to design research on Detroit in order to add to knowledge about the nature of cities and of city planning.  Rather than learn only about the extreme case of Detroit, they argue, research on the city can enlighten enduring questions in urban studies.

The critical rethinking of Detroit’s past, present, and future is essential reading for both urban studies scholars and the general public.

Editors: Lucas Owen Kirkpatrick and Michael Peter Smith
Published: September 2015, Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4128-5693-5