Cities in Decline: Finding Something To Celebrate

News always comes in twos; there's the good news, and then there's the bad news. In the city of Windsor, Canada, the bad news has consistently been their ailing economy. Residents look for something to celebrate.
June 23, 2012, 1pm PDT | Andrew Gorden
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The city of Windsor, Canada, like its neighbor, Detroit, has suffered the brunt of the nation's economic woes. With the nation's highest unemployment rate, Nate Berg, of The Atlantic Cities, writes, "Windsor is fast becoming the city that Canada is ready to forget about."

"Bringing attention – both critical and celebratory – back to Windsor has been an ongoing goal of the interdisciplinary artist collective Broken City Lab," writes Berg. The Broken City Lab develops "projects and interventions that could quickly, in some way, address the persistent problems facing Windsor, whether people not paying attention, appreciating the city for what it is, or acknowledging and acting upon those parts of it that need to change."

This "DIY-ish urban activism" is what some Windsor residents hope will encourage more residents to give more concern about the state of their city. Berg highlights a few of the successes the Broken City Lab has accomplished, such as "small magnetic planters that can hang on chain-link fences." Small improvements such as this will give rise to what Justin Langlois, assistant professor at the University of Windsor states will "introduce a sensibility of confidence in other people in creative intervening or problem-solving with little things around them."

In time, as Berg hopes, "the Broken City Lab will continue to explore these forms of civic participation and hopefully start to rewrite the narrative of what Windsor can be."

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Published on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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