Pushing for Adaptive Reuse in Detroit

<p>Urban decay blankets much of downtown Detroit. More and more people are pushing for adaptive reuse of the aging and underused buildings, but some city policies may get in the way.</p>
June 19, 2008, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Vacant skyscrapers and factories dotting Detroit's skyline testify to the city's high water mark, a stirring juxtaposition of old and new, decayed and opulent."

"Many Detroiters see these empty buildings as liabilities rather than opportunities. The city's hesitation to re-use abandoned structures is deeply ingrained: 'In a city so starved for investment,' says University of Michigan Professor Scott Kurashige, 'Detroit chooses short-term profits from marginally beneficial new developments, like parking lots, over preserving buildings with immense potential.'"

"But some Detroiters deeply appreciate these storied, vacant structures. 'They represent the raw material, the building blocks for rebuilding the City,' says Francis Grunow, president of the Detroit preservation group Preservation Wayne. Grunow advocates 'adaptive reuse'-remodeling a building after it has outlived its original purpose -for the benefit of small businesses and organizations."

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Published on Sunday, June 15, 2008 in The Next American City
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