Driving Detroit: Discovering a Dysfunctional Metropolis

30.05.2012 - 19:15
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
MZES Public Lecture
Prof. George C. Galster, Ph.D.
Lecturer affiliation: 
Department of Urban Studies and Planning / Wayne State University

Detroit is the international icon for a once-thriving industrial powerhouse transformed within half a century into a dysfunctional metropolis. But why has Metropolitan Detroit’s social, cultural, political, institutional, commercial, and built landscape been transformed? Driving Detroit contends that Metropolitan Detroit can be understood as two dimensions of tensions, capital vs. labor, blacks vs. whites. It documents the region’s geo-political environment, evolving economic and population patterns, and longstanding inter-class and inter-racial struggles. It shows how geography, local government structure, and social forces created a regional housing development system that perpetually produces sprawl at the fringe and abandonment at the core. It argues that the region’s automotive economic base and housing development system have chronically frustrated the populations’ quest for “respect:” basic physical, social and psychological resources. These frustrations generated the extreme adaptations that distinguish the region: distrust, scapegoating, identity politics, segregation, unionization, and jurisdictional fragmentation. Unfortunately, these individually rational adaptations have proven collectively irrational, positioning Metropolitan Detroit in an uncompetitive, unsustainable position. “Driving Detroit: The Quest for Respect in Motown” by George Galster. To Order: http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/