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Michael Roman-John Koscielniak

Current Student—Ph.D in Urban and Regional Planning

Michael Roman-John Koscielniak

Advisor: Margi Dewar


I study the politics, practices, materials and technologies of urban decline in cities that have experienced extreme population loss. I concentrate on the politics of urban natures and infrastructures. My dissertation investigates the geography of demolition backfill material (dirt, gravel and sand) in the Detroit, MI region. I am interested in theories of land, property and territory. Broadly, I work at the intersection of critical physical geography, urban political ecology, political theory and planning theory.


  • February 2016: "Detroit Dirt City: Resource Environments of Demolition" presented at Dimensions of Political Ecology 2016
  • February 2016: "The Will to Remove: Rendering Blight Removal Logistical in Detroit, MI" presented at Rule & Form: Confronting the Spatial Transactions and Logistics of Capital
  • February 2015: "Building Blightocracy" presented at Blight as Politics Symposium and Public Workshop
  • January 2015: "Locking and Unlocking Relations" presented at the Michigan STS Symposium
  • April 2014: "The Enabling Work of Detroit's Redevelopment" presented at BANKRUPT: The Taubman College Graduate Student Conference
  • April 2014: "City as Blind-spot" presented at Michigan STS Mini-Conference