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Footprint: AJ 28.02.13

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I read your article ‘Detroit City: What’s Going On’ (AJ 28.02.13) with great interest. Having visited the city in January 2010 as part of a pioneering collaboration between architecture students at Oxford Brookes University (OBU) and the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), I had to agree with Lizzie Hines’ comments that Detroit is indeed one of the most exciting cities I have been fortunate to visit in recent years. While arguably not one of the world’s top travel destinations as a result of much documented crime, vandalism and racial tensions; Detroit is a playground of potential for those with creative minds. During our three day design charrette with architecture students at UDM we split into groups and explored design options for particular areas and sites in and around the city. At the culminating crit, design proposals ranged from utilising existing infrastructure to connect Detroit with the cities of North America using high speed rail links to attract young professionals to live in Detroit and capitalise on the low cost of living; to cultivating the acres of vacant land downtown and developing bio fuel crops for production within the city’s obsolete factories. Reading articles such as this three years later, I am reminded of the vision and optimism shared by those architecture students we met who were committed to living and working in Detroit to bring about change with or without financial backing from central Government. This post-industrial city is an exciting example of experimental community-led regeneration and as the article suggests, it is well worth a visit.

    Biba Thacker, Architectural Assistant (RIBA Part II)

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