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BANKRUPT: Economic Crisis and the Built Environment

April 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm - April 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

In the context of government shutdowns, debt ceiling debates, and the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history, we propose a fresh start. To do this, BANKRUPT asks: How are power relations negotiated through the built environment in a context of crisis? Must democracy be circumvented in bankruptcy? Does insolvency open opportunities for new politics, reinvented institutions, or opportunistic practices? Does austerity create possibilities for innovative building techniques? How do architecture and the city reveal or conceal traumatic economic change? We look to emerging graduate student research on buildings, cities, and landscapes for new ways of thinking about our assets and liabilities.

April 4, 2014
A+A Auditorium

6:00 PM

Panos Leventis, Drury University
“Walls of Crisis: Street Art and Urban Fabric in Central Athens, 2000-2012”

April 5, 2014
Hussey Room, Michigan League

9:00 AM

Welcome/Opening remarks
Larissa Larsen, University of Michigan

9:15 – 10:45 AM

Architecture and Power in Urban Crises

Tait Johnson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“An Aluminum Town Square: Reacting to Crisis in Paola, Kansas”

Joseph Watson, University of Pennsylvania
“The Politics of the Atrium: Atlanta’s Peachtree Center and the Re-invention of Space”

Alireza Karbasioun, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
“Permanent Crisis-Permanent Prison”

Discussant: Sharon Haar, University of Michigan

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Planning and (In)Equity from Postwar to Present

Patrick Cooper-McCann, University of Michigan
“Putting Equity Back Into Shrinking Cities Planning”

Vaughn Horn, Harvard University
“Cobo’s Ragweed Acres and 49 Million Alternatives – Roads Trodden and Not Taken in Detroit’s Paradise Valley and Surroundings”

Discussant: Reynolds Farley, University of Michigan

2:00 – 3:30 PM

Reconceiving Landscapes After Development

Katherine Cannella, University of Virginia
“Regenerating the Suburban Strip”

Grey Elam, University of Virginia
“Maintenance as an Affordable Design Operation”

Ian Trivers, University of Michigan
“From Liabilities to Assets: Reassessing Railway Industrial Heritage in Post-Industrial Cities”

Discussant: Panos Leventis, Drury University

4:00 – 5:30 PM

Governance and the Shrinking City

M Roman-John Koscielniak, University of Michigan
“The Enabling Work of Detroit’s Redevelopment: Practices of Efficiency, Exception and Visibility”

David Sherley, Miami University
“Toward Vibrancy and Diversity: Seeing the Silence of Urban Decline and Building a Narrative of Regeneration”

Leah Hollstein, University of Texas at Austin
“Planning Decisions for Vacant Lots in the Context of Shrinking Cities: A Survey and Comparison of Practices in the United States”

Discussant: Jonathan Massey, Syracuse University

5:30 PM

Closing remarks
Claire Zimmerman, University of Michigan

Conference Committee:
Michael McCulloch, Sarah Mills, Azadeh Omidfar,
Benjamin Smith

Sponsored by:
Planning and Architecture Research Group (P+ARG)
Rackham Student Government
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University of Michigan Office of Research


April 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm
April 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm