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Why Detroit Matters: Decline, Renewal and Hope in a Divided City

Brian Doucet


Detroit has come to symbolise deindustrialization and the challenges, and opportunities, it presents. As many cities struggle with urban decline, racial and ethnic tensions and the consequences of neoliberal governance and political fragmentation, Detroit’s relevance grows stronger. Why Detroit matters bridges academic and non-academic responses to this extreme example of a fractured and divided, post-industrial city. Detroit has long been portrayed as a metonym for urban failure, most often depicted through its ruins and abandonment. However, more recently, a new narrative of comeback has eme ... More

Keywords: Detroit, deindustrialization, urban failure, comeback city, urban visions, political fragmentation, divided cities

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9781447327868
Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447327868.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian Doucet, editor
University of Waterloo

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Section One Lessons from Detroit

Section Two Practices from Detroit

Eleven Visions in conflict: a city of possibilities

Sharon Howell and Richard Feldman

Section Three Conversations from Detroit

Twenty-Two Feedom Freedom Farmers

Wayne Curtis and Myrtle Thompson-Curtis

Twenty-Three The James and Grace Lee Boggs School

Julia Putnam, Amanda Rosman, and Marisol Teachworth

End Matter