Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Detroit: A Thesis Proposal

By Drew Baldwin

For this blog, I will explain my thesis idea up to this point. I want to take the idea of creating green spaces in an urban environment to attempt to benefit the city and its inhabitants. I am choosing Detroit as my target city for my thesis, I wanted to choose a city that is not exactly one of the “greener” cities as well as one which could use some revitalization. While doing some initial research about Detroit, I read that within the next year, the city plans on closing down 50 parks/recreation areas due to a lack of funds to be able to pay for upkeep and maintenance.
As you know, or at least if you ask anyone what their thoughts on Detroit are, you’ll get something along the lines of “that’s a terrible city, I don’t think I ever want to go there.” This is why this thesis could prove to be a real challenge, given the current financial state of the city and the inability to maintain the existing parks; but also a real success, if I can create a better image of the city through thoughtful master planning of parks, plazas, and vertical gardens. Due to the fact that 50 parks are closing, I could use this as an opportunity to restore some of the run down parks back to inhabitable quality which could help to reduce costs in the long run. All of these green spaces would be tied together in the Detroit downtown area to try and improve the quality of life for the downtown city inhabitants along with improving their well-being by providing them various spaces to enjoy outdoors, creating a sense of community by providing social gathering spaces and keeping the residents in touch with nature while living in the city. In doing this, I hope to also improve and advocate green initiative throughout the city which in turn could spring up more projects like this in and around Detroit, making it a greener city and possibly a more desirable city to live in as well as visit. 

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