Detroit's Unreal Estate

On Places, Andrew Herscher of the University of Michigan challenges the usual view of Detroit's decline.
December 8, 2012, 7am PST | Places Journal
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Patricia Drury

The decades-long decline of Detroit is usually framed as one of the great urban tragedies of our day. But Andrew Herscher challenges us to understand this history in new ways.

"What if Detroit has lost population, jobs, infrastructure, investment — and yet, as a result of those losses, has gained opportunities to understand and engage novel urban conditions?" asks Herscher.

"What if Detroit has not only fallen apart and emptied out but also transformed, becoming a new sort of urban formation that only appears depleted through the lens of conventional urbanism?"

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Published on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 in Places Journal
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