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Regeneration, Citizenship, and Justice in the American City since the 1970s

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Aneta Dybska

This book investigates post-industrial American cities as sites of struggle where political identities are mobilized and new modes of citizenship are articulated. This interdisciplinary analysis gleans insights from anthropology, literary criticism, cultural studies, geography, political philosophy, and urban studies. Drawing on scholarly, journalistic, essayistic, and fictional texts, the author examines the linkages between urban regeneration policies, citizenship, and social justice in the neoliberal city. She foregrounds grassroots and official strategies of community building, civic revival and democratic governance, as well as the right to the city, localism, and sustainability as key discourses and practices of re-configuring and re-inhabiting the urban.

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Chapter Ten Shrinking Detroit: Corporate-based vs. Community-based Visions of Revitalization

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Detroit is where change is most urgent and therefore most viable. The rest of us will get there later, when necessity drives us too, and by that time Detroit may be the shining example we can look to, the post-industrial green city that was once the steel-gray capital of Fordist manufacturing.

—Rebecca Solnit, “Detroit Arcadia,” p. 73

Detroit had become a DIY city unlike any other, the kind of place where regular civilians took it upon themselves to tauten the civic slack.

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