City of Worth

Hoback, Alan S.

Conference: Proceedings of the 96th American Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual Meeting, 2008/03


This paper describes applied research that continues Prof. Constance Bodurow’s previous peer reviewed and disseminated research: + D IND DEV: Industrial Spatial Logic and the Transformation of the City. In that work, Bodurow documents the distinct spatial logic to North American industrial development, driven primarily by the location of infrastructure, which expresses itself legibly within the City over time. Through research, graphic documentation, and analysis of the industrial spatial logic and development history of infrastructure and industry in Regional Detroit (focusing on places of “making” and the infrastructure that serves them and the uses that cluster around them), Bodurow’s research identifi es the progression of land use in the City over 150 years and suggests strategies for future regeneration. By focusing on the areas of the city that are not only transforming in the post-industrial era, but are still inhabited, Bodurow proposes a new regeneration strategy. This new strategy is based on the spatial and infrastructure analysis but more “Value Densifi cation” is Bodurow’s own term and recommended approach for future urban form and investment in Detroit (and other post-industrial Cities), focusing on the few neighborhoods where inhabitation, infrastructure, cultural, and employment assets are in evidence. The Value Densifi cation Community Pilot Project (VDCpp) engages Southwest Detroit, with the support of the community, as the fi rst and most promising of these neighborhoods, creates a digital model that vividly reveals its assets and density, empowers the community at a critical moment to direct its future, prompts a civic dialogue, expands existing partnerships, and creates rich pedagogic opportunities.

Link to full paper


1. McCown, James, DENSE DEBATE, Architecture; Dec2003, Vol. 92 Issue 12, p77, 2p, 1c. ix Suggested during Cruz's presentation at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Planning, Global Place: Practice, Politics, and the Polis, January 4-6, 2007. x Maas, Winy, MVRDV, KM3: Excursions on Capacity, December 2005, Actar.
3. Michael Batty, formerly with SUNY Buffalo currently the Director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial AnalysisUniversity College London. Batty's work created a digital model for the whole of London.
4. Plans created by SDDC members include: Gateway Communities Development Collaborative (GCDC) General Development Plan and Appendicies, 2002, Update 2004, by The Smith Group/JJR; MABA Michigan Avenue Retail Revitalization Plan, 2003, by University of Michigan School of Urban and Regional Planning; Mexicantown Hubbard Communities Implementation Plan, 2007, by Zachary + Associates; DEGC Detroit West Riverfront District Plan, 2007, by Chan Krieger Associates; Wayne County West Vernor Highway Pilot Study, 2002, by Wayne County Division of Jobs and Economic Development, et al. xxv The Southwest Detroit Greenway Network is comprised of: the Corktown-Mexicantown, Springwells, Rouge Gateway, Fort Street (48217), and Vernor segments. xxvi Phase I budget prevented the Team from acquiring 2D and 3D digital Sanborn Map resources. xxvii MDOT, DEGC, and SEMCOG are each conducting planning initiatives in the study area.
5. West Riverfront model by Chan Krieger, Cambridge, MA, 2007 for Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC).
6. Georgia Daskalakis, Charles Waldheim, Jason Young -2001, for an overview of Waldheim's proposed direction for Detroit.
7. The German Federal Government's well funded initiative to study this phenomenon; Detroit was one of six cities worldwide highlighted in the research initiative and exhibition. See v Inspired by Aldo Rossi's quotation in The Architecture of the City: "Industry -the source of every evil, and every good -becomes the protagonist for the transformation of the City".
8. Michael Batty, formerly with SUNY Buffalo currently the Director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis -University College London. Batty's work created a digital model for the whole of London. xii Waldheim, Charles (Editor), Landscape Urbanism Reader, Princeton Architectural Press, 2006; and Berger, Alan, Drosscapes: Wasting Land in Urban America, Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. xiii + D IND DEV: Industrial Spatial Logic and the Transformation of the City, by Constance C. Bodurow, presented/published 20-22 October 2006, American Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Central Regional Conference, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture + Planning. xiv Neighborhood Support includes retail/commercial (generally along the radial streets of Michigan, Gratiot, Grand River), Schools, Churches, Parks, Cemeteries, etc. xv As Steven Vogel at UDM has documented.
9. This 3D model was provided by the DEGC is based on what has been shown in the West Riverfront planning process to date. xxx Google Earth/Sketch Up Staff assertions, May 2007 and January 2008. xxxi US Census Tracks: 5209-5264
10. Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan