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eBook Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City (Painted Turtle) epub

by John Gallagher

eBook Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City (Painted Turtle) epub
  • ISBN: 0814334695
  • Author: John Gallagher
  • Genre: Social Sciences
  • Subcategory: Politics & Government
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Painted Turtle; 60324th edition (September 9, 2010)
  • Pages: 176 pages
  • ePUB size: 1137 kb
  • FB2 size 1751 kb
  • Formats lrf mobi lrf rtf


John Gallagher is a veteran journalist who writes about urban and economic development for the Detroit Free Press. He joined the newspaper in 1987.

John Gallagher is a veteran journalist who writes about urban and economic development for the Detroit Free Press. John's other books include Great Architecture of Michigan and, as co-author, AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Series: Painted Turtle. I'm a big fan of anything hopeful written about Detroit. This book is written by a professor at Wayne and written well. I would encourage this to be read by anyone interested in city planning and development.

Reimagining Detroit book.

Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City. Of the countless books written about Detroit, many chronicle the city’s colorful rise: Cadillac and Chief Pontiac and Judge Woodward, Henry Ford and the Model T, Walter Reuther and the American labor movement, the Arsenal of Democracy and Motown music. Many other books dissect Detroit’s fall from grace-that half-century (and counting) of riots and redlining, white flight and suburban sprawl, shuttered factories, broken dreams, and wasted lives.

Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City is an informative, hopeful, and optimistic work. Gallagher candidly addresses Detroit's current condition and adroitly prescribes unconventional, yet viable, resolutions. Written by Detroit Free Press staff writer John Gallagher, the book examines a host of strategies aiming at making Detroit a smaller but better city.

Written by Detroit Free Press staff writer John Gallagher, the book examines a host of strategies aiming at making Detroit a smaller but better city.

Reimagining Detroit : Opportunities for Redefining an American City.

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John Gallagher is a veteran journalist and author whose book, Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City, was named by the Huffington Post as among the best social and political books of 2010

John Gallagher is a veteran journalist and author whose book, Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City, was named by the Huffington Post as among the best social and political books of 2010. John was born in New York City and joined the Detroit Free Press in 1987 to cover urban and economic redevelopment efforts in Detroit and Michigan, a post which he still holds. He is a 2017 inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

Experts estimate that perhaps forty square miles of Detroit are vacant-from a quarter to a third of the city -a level of emptiness that creates a landscape unlike any other big city. Author John Gallagher, who has covered urban redevelopment for the Detroit Free Press for two decades, spent a year researching what is going on in Detroit precisely because of its open space and the dire economic times we face. Instead of presenting another account of the city's decline, Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City showcases the innovative community-building work happening in the city and focuses on what else can be done to make Detroit leaner, greener, and more economically self-sufficient.

Gallagher conducted numerous interviews, visited community projects, and took many of the photographs that accompany the text to uncover some of the strategies that are being used, and could be used in the future, to make twenty-first century Detroit a more sustainable and desirable place to live. Some of the topics Gallagher discusses are urban agriculture, restoring vacant lots, reconfiguring Detroit's overbuilt road network, and reestablishing some of the city's original natural landscape. He also investigates new models for governing the city and fostering a more entrepreneurial economy to ensure a more stable political and economic future. Along the way, Gallagher introduces readers to innovative projects that are already under way in the city and proposes other models for possible solutions-from as far away as Dresden, Germany, and Seoul, South Korea, and as close to home as Philadelphia and Youngstown-to complement current efforts.

Ultimately, Gallagher helps to promote progressive ideas and the community leaders advancing them and offers guidance for other places dealing with the shrinking cities phenomenon. Readers interested in urban studies and environmental issues will enjoy the fresh perspective of Reimagining Detroit.

Comments: (7)
Beazekelv
I'm a big fan of anything hopeful written about Detroit. This book is written by a professor at Wayne and written well. I would encourage this to be read by anyone interested in city planning and development.
Vital Beast
Relevant, easy-to-read, and insightful look into Detroit's future based on its unique history. A large gamut of issues are discussed from auto and development history to micro and macro urban design, economics, and politics. Colorful comparisons are made with other cities (both US and abroad) that have had similar problems to Detroit and have developed solutions. In this sense, the relevance of this book extends far beyond just the future of Detriot, but to the future of all American cities.
grand star
Easy read with some good ideas.
Cobandis
John Gallagher, with his background knowledge on Detroit's architecture and urban issues, writes clearly regarding the major problems plaging the urban fabric of Detroit. Enlightening without being accusatory, he shows the challenges and opportunities facing the city. Unlike most media, which poses questions without providing answers, Mr. Gallagher proposes three definite steps that can be taken to begin the revitalization of Detroit. Rather than trying to fix everything at once, or being too generalized and idealized, his ideas make sense and seem readily achievable. In addition to his own opinion and experiences, he cites other cities in similar situations, as well as the experiences of other individuals dealing with urban issues, trying to make a difference in our American cities. Excellent!
Sermak Light
Though the book focuses on Detroit, the challenges outlined here are readily applicable to other, post-industrial cities that are struggling to reimagine themselves in the 21st century.

Most think that Detroit is vacant/empty because of the loss of population over the past generation. Certainly that is part of it, but Gallagher points out that the size of Detroit was immense from the beginning. With enough land to encompass all of San Francisco, Boston and Manhattan, Detroit was spread out to begin with. This has now come back to be a serious challenge for the city.

Urban farming is an often noted solution to these empty spaces and Gallagher takes a serious look at the pros and cons of the popular idea. He accurately points out that urban farming alone is not a panacea for the city and at best, would be a part of any overall solution to the problem. He estimates that currently there are approximately 500+ acres of community gardens in the area or roughly one square mile of urban farms. Detroit has over 40 square miles of vacant land which makes you understand the challenge of what to do with all that space.

In order to make urban farming an economic possibility there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way we think about locally grown foods. Gallagher points out that only about 2% of Detroit's food could be considered locally grown. If that were boosted to 5-10% then the economics starts to become possible.

One missing conversation in the book is the possibility of medical marijuana farms. Michigan approved med marijuana in 2008 but large scale growth and distribution has yet to be implemented. Marijuana being a high value to acreage product might change some of the economics.

In other areas, Gallagher notes that Detroit has a large number of wide, multi-lane roads. With fewer cars on them, they seem overkill for the current and projected future population of the city. He suggests a "road diet" that would re-engineer some of these boulevards and make them narrower with more pedestrian and bike friendly features. He notes that adding environmental restraints such as roundabouts, trees, bike lanes, etc, actually has the counter-intuitive effect of making for safer streets. Turns out we pay more attention when the environment is more multiuse and dense.

One of his more pragmatic ideas is to allow some parts of the city to return to a more natural state, or so-called "wildlife corridors." Natural green spaces benefit the community and unlike parks, he notes that citizens don't expect you to keep up a natural area the way you would a public park!

One of the books highlights is the chapter called "The Best Idea Detroit's Never Tried" which discusses the success that the Flint Land Bank has had in acquiring and amalgamating vacant and blighted land in that city. The program has become a national model for land banking in part because of their innovative approach of bundling and selling off land to developers and then in turn using those proceeds to fix up blighted properties, essentially making them more valuable for future sale. Sadly Gallagher points out that for seemingly political reasons, the Detroit City Council has prevented this idea from being implemented in the city where it could have an immediate and perhaps profound impact on the area.

For those interested in cities, particularly in how to turn them around and re-imagine them, there is no better lab than Detroit and Gallagher captures the complexities and challenges of changing the course of a mammoth entity like the City of Detroit. And he does so in a refreshingly readable manner.

Also, here is an excellent interview with the author: [...]
Reemiel
This is an incredibly well written and well researched work with an interesting perspective on how a shrinking city can adapt and excell by recognising opportunities that come with a declining population. Interesting, provocative, a great read.
from earth
As a Jackson, Mississippi newspaper publisher and recent visitor to Detroit, I enjoyed this book thoroughly, as it offers potential solutions and ideas for urban environments all over the country. Well researched and crisply written.
This book inspired me to look into Urban Planning departments in the state of Michigan. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in a forward-thinking approach to the future of post-industrial America and beyond.
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