Fall 2023 Sustainability Management PS5250 section D01

Building a Sustainable Detroit: A Case


Call Number 12691
Day & Time
W 6:10pm-8:00pm
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Donna Givens Davidson
Method of Instruction On-Line Only
Course Description

Once known as the arsenal of Democracy, the birthplace of the automobile assembly line, and the model city of America, 21st Century Detroit was emblematic of deindustrialization, decay, and insolvency.  Following the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, Detroit is now being reframed in both local and national media as a comeback city with opportunity and possibility for all - urban pioneers, global investors, a creative class of new professionals, and suburbanites seeking a return to urban grit.

Despite these narratives, Detroit remains highly segregated - racially, geographically, economically, and socially.  While downtown is prospering, neighborhoods are still largely blighted and contaminated with legacy uses that remain unremediated.  Over 30,000 houses and other structures have been demolished in the past 8 years, a process that is under-regulated and contributes to both environmental and infrastructure harm.  To the extent new investments are improving the condition of housing and infrastructure in some strategic areas, these investments are displacing long term residents who remain at risk of eviction or foreclosure from their homes. Detroit remains one of the poorest big city in America and the poverty that remains is seemingly intractable.  At present, only 36% of residents earn a living wage.

Detroit’s present condition  is rooted in a protracted history of racist laws, policies, and practices that deny full citizenship to Black Detroiters, undermine Democracy, and position the city as a poor colony within a thriving metropolis.  Racism has disfigured the social, physical and economic landscape of Detroit to produce profound levels of neglect, abuse, and exploitation of its residents, resulting in wealth extraction, housing insecurity, healthy food and water scarcity, educational malpractice, and environmental destruction, all within the framework of wealth attraction, tax incentives, subsidized growth and capital accumulation in the greater downtown.

Through this course, we will examine the thesis that sustainability and racism cannot co-exist; that sustainability is rooted in inclusive social wellbeing now and in future generations, whereas racism is rooted in hoarding of power and resources for one dominant group. This hoarding of resources for a favored population impairs preservation for future generations.   Furthermore, environmental racism disconnects the consequences of environmental destruction from its beneficiari

Web Site Vergil
Department Sustainability Management
Enrollment 7 students (30 max) as of 11:06AM Saturday, February 24, 2024
Subject Sustainability Management
Number PS5250
Section D01
Division School of Professional Studies
Campus Morningside
Note Graduate Students Only. Cross-registrations opens 9/5/23.
Section key 20233SUMA5250KD01