Macomb County, one of the suburban counties surrounding Detroit, is currently undergoing a process similar to the economic devastation that the Motor City has been experiencing over the last 40 years. Tax foreclosures, social fragmentation, budget crisis at every level of government, the fragility of the auto industry and a dearth of leadership have intersected to create a growing state of emergency. The current real estate crisis is hitting homeowners in Macomb County hard.
In the USA and beyond there is a desperate need to reframe the issues at stake in a creative and sustainable way. Which truths are becoming evident? Are we seeing the end of natural order of Suburbia?
VOLUME 9 ‘Suburbia After the Crisis’ proposed a three-way approach: 1. redefine urgency, 2. organize communality and 3. create monumental gravity
ARCHIS in cooperation with Abitare and the Netherlands Architecture Institute organize an RSVP event in Macomb County from 20 – 22 February 2009 focused on finding pragmatic answers on how we can move from crisis to project. More concretely, by making an inventory of the effects of the crisis we will develop a series of intervention proposals, based on the reality of Macomb County.
Issues to look at will be: How to impose history in a place that has largely functioned a-historically to redefine urgency? How to transform the role of political decision making towards more visionary planning? How to re-assess the concepts of home and homeownership and their relationship to taxes and citizenship in Macomb County?
Practical outcomes could be: a media campaign on values of homeownership, history, mobility, etc.; a redevelopment plan for a neighborhood with foreclosed homes; DIY Kit for Homeowners.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20
Introductions, Presentations and Tour of the City of Warren, 9a.m. – 5p.m.
Location: Warren City Center, One City Square, Warren, Michigan 48093
9:00a.m. – 9:30a.m. Welcome and Introductions (Mayor Fouts, City of Warren)
10:00a.m – 12p.m. Contextual Presentations (25 min presentation and 15 min for questions)
– Warren Demographics and Overview / Development of Macomb County
– Residential Housing Market (Builder’s Association)
– Regional Forecast (SEMCOG)
12p.m. – 1:00p.m. Lunch
1:30p.m. – 3:30p.m. Community Bus Tour, capacity 25 people (Guides: Gina Cavaliere and Rose Furlong, City of Warren)
– Includes stop at Warren Community Center and presentation by the Warren Historical Society
3:45p.m. – 5:00p.m. Contextual Presentations 25 min presentation and 15 min for questions)
– Suburban Development (Lawrence Tech)
– Use of history and language in development of metro Detroit (TBD)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Public Forum, 4p.m. – 8p.m.
Location: Winnick Homes, Heritage Village, 29112 Heritage Pkwy, Warren, Michigan 48092
– Presentations on scenarios for dealing with housing and the real estate crisis (Alexander D’Hooghe, Ole Bouman, Arjen Oosterman and Lucia Tozzi). The presentations will be followed by an open forum to discuss and exchange ideas about the scenarios focusing what is most suitable for locations in Warren.
– Light dinner provided
Welcome Party/ Networking, 9p.m. – 1a.m.
Location: Kuhnhenn Brewery, 5919 Chicago Rd, Warren, Michigan 48092
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Workshop, 12a.m. – 4p.m.
Location: Conference Room B, Warren Community Center, 5460 Arden, Warren, Michigan 48092
– Workshop to develop proposals based on scenarios from Saturday’s event, open to anyone interested in participating. The outcomes will be discussed at the end of the day.
– Light refreshments provided
For more on Archis in Macomb County:
Warren Special Report supplement to Volume #20: Storytelling