02 February 2011

Views of Detroit

I recieved an invitation to an event here in Copenhagen on Thursday at KPH Projects. The event is called Views of Detroit - Exploring film in urban planning.

It's about three students from Roskilde University who made a film about Detroit. The trailer is above.

They'll highlight a city that was home to the Big Three - Ford, Chrysler and GM and that gave the world Motown and Techno. A city that lost half of its population in just 50 years and where this year alone 3000 houses will be torn down.

A city that has the fantastic potential to be the first large city in the world to produce all of its foodstuffs within the city limits. A city that is fighting economic meltdown and brutal budget cuts. A city with a blossoming underground and art scene.

The event can be found at this Facebook group.

Here's the corner of Woodward Avenue and Monroe Avenue, Detroit, in 1917. Human streets, public transport. This photo features in the book Fighting Traffic - The dawn of the motor age in the American city, which I've written about yesterday and previously.


Vladimir 'vudu' Zlokazov said...

I've found an interesting graphic in the book "Suburban Nation" - http://nuonline.arc.miami.edu/preview/U1_Detroit_BeforeAfter_sm.gif

This image compares downtown Detroit in 1950 and in 1990 and practically shows how the advent of the Motordom levelled the city.

domotion2011 said...

Robo Cop I released in 1987 is a satirical story set in the future that resonates how far Detroit has declined. A great line comes from Dick Jones the head of OCP the private police force. "We practically are the military". Sounds suspiciously like the former Blackwater security group that is profiteering in Africa now. It is like American cities have to completely implode, Gary Ind, East St Louis, Camden NJ. A little bit of good old fashion farming and pedestrian mobility is not very high profile but one can only hope. Considering, devastated cities are hard put to rise up. Homesteading could be the step towards a new self identity.

Todd Scott said...

I am highly suspicious of any film about Detroit that shows the Michigan Central Station in perhaps a majority of its shots. (I counted 14 times.)

As for Vladmir's comment, while motordom's expressway implementation leveled parts of the city, it did not level Detroit. Detroit would never have risen to such great heights were it not for motordom.

Evan said...

shout out for using DJ Shadow and Mos Def's Six Days.