Book launch and presentation: Why Detroit Matters: Decline, renewal and hope in a divided city (Brian Doucet - Editor)

On the 18th of April, we are honored to host one of our teacher’s book launch. Brian Doucet, Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies, is originally from Toronto, Canada but has lived in the Netherlands since 2004. He completed his PhD from Utrecht University in 2010 and was an Assistant Professor of Urban Geography at Utrecht until 2015. His main areas of research are gentrification, housing, urban inequality and flagship regeneration. He is interested in both the production of space and how urban change is experienced and perceived.

About the Book

His work Why Detroit Matters: Decline renewal and hope in a divided city, has been referred by John McCarthy (Associate Professor, School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University) as “an important and unique book in the context of the future of cities globally”.

Detroit has come to symbolise deindustrialization and the challenges, and opportunities, it presents. As many cities struggle with urban decline, racial and ethnic tensions and the consequences of neoliberal governance and political fragmentation, Detroit’s relevance grows stronger. Why Detroit Matters bridges academic and non-academic responses to this extreme example of a fractured and divided, post-industrial city.

Contributions from many of the leading scholars on Detroit are joined by influential writers, planners, artists and activists who have contributed chapters drawing on their experiences and ideas. The book concludes with interviews with some of the city’s most prominent visionaries who are engaged in inspiring practices which provide powerful lessons for Detroit and other cities around the world.

The book will be a valuable reference for scholars, practitioners and students from across disciplines including geography, planning, architecture, sociology, urban studies, history, American studies and economics.

About the Event

When? Tuesday 18 April, 18.30  20.00

Where? EUC library - Nieuwemarkt 1A, 3011 HP Rotterdam

During this presentation, Brian Doucet will introduce the book and its main findings and insights. We will also have short presentations by contributors to the book, including Drew Philp, who purchased an abandoned house in Detroit for $500, renovated it and turned it into his home, as well as the Utrecht-based urban do-tank Expodium, who organised an artists-in-residency program in Detroit. We will also be joined via Skype from Detroit by Josh Akers, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Jackie Victor, co-founder of Avalon International Breads and Malik Yakini, executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.

More information

This event is free, but registration is required. You can send an email to: to reserve your place

If you wish to purchase a copy of the book for a discounted price of 20 Euros, please also email this request before 5 April to

For more information on the book, visit

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