DETROIT — With rapid change and redevelopment efforts taking hold all over Detroit, there is a preponderance of people who seek little more than to profit off of this city, with little consideration for the residents that have held it tenuously intact against the entropy of the preceding 50 years. Fortunately, there are also people with an eye on how to ensure that these longtime residents are not sold out in the land-grabbing of Detroit neighborhoods. Some of these people are bringing new technologies and techniques to bear on the deeply political practice of mapping the spaces in which we live. Over at Lawrence Technical University (LTU), a collaborative team-up between the Urban Design and Humanities programs has produced a multi-phase project titled Mapping + Humanities, which hopes to use mapping as a way to help residents of embattled neighborhoods with their community-building efforts.
“What we can do is use this mapping technique to help, for example, look at the community as a whole,” said Joongsub Kim in an interview with Hyperallergic. Kim is a Lawrence Tech professor and Director of LTU’s Master of Urban Design program, as well as of Detroit Studio, a community-based design center. “What are the key assets, and what are the most challenging spots? I hope they [community members] can use our technique as a way to engage other people, and then begin to have a conversation about what spots we need to focus on.”
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Image courtesy of Lawrence Technical University.