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Dream City: Creation, Destruction, and Reinvention in Downtown Detroit
Tracing two centuries of rise, fall, and rebirth in the heart of downtown Detroit.
Downtown Detroit is amid an astonishing rebirth. Its sidewalks have become a dreamland for an aspiring creative class, shoppers, office workers, and restaurant-goers. Cranes dot the skyline, replacing the wrecking balls seen there only a few years ago. But venture a few blocks in any direction and this liveliness exposes the ravages of urban blight: crumbling concrete, barbed wire, and debris.
In Dream City, urban designer Conrad Kickert examines the paradoxes of Detroit's landscape of extremes, arguing that the current reinvention of downtown is the expression of two centuries of Detroiters' conflicting hopes and dreams. Downtown has been in constant battle with its own offspring--the automobile and the suburbs the automobile enabled--and modernized itself though parking attrition and land consolidation. Dream City is populated by a varied cast of downtown power players, from a 1920s parking lot baron to the pizza tycoon family and mortgage billionaire who control downtown's fate today. Even the most renowned planners and designers have consistently yielded to those with power, land, and finances to shape downtown. The rebuild continues.
- 456 pages.
- 7"w x 9"h x 1.2"d.