DIY Detroit: Making Do in a City without Services

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9780816697090: DIY Detroit: Making Do in a City without Services
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For ten years James Robertson walked the twenty-one-mile round-trip from his Detroit home to his factory job; when his story went viral, it brought him an outpouring of attention and support. But what of Robertson’s Detroit neighbors, likewise stuck in a blighted city without services as basic as a bus line? What they’re left with, after decades of disinvestment and decline, is DIY urbanism—sweeping their own streets, maintaining public parks, planting community gardens, boarding up empty buildings, even acting as real estate agents and landlords for abandoned homes.

DIY Detroit describes a phenomenon that, in our times of austerity measures and market-based governance, has become woefully routine as inhabitants of deteriorating cities “domesticate” public services in order to get by. The voices that animate this book humanize Detroit’s troubles—from a middle-class African American civic activist drawn back by a crisis of conscience; to a young Latina stay-at-home mom who has never left the city and whose husband works in construction; to a European woman with a mixed-race adopted family and a passion for social reform, who introduces a chicken coop, goat shed, and market garden into the neighborhood. These people show firsthand how living with disinvestment means getting organized to manage public works on a neighborhood scale, helping friends and family members solve logistical problems, and promoting creativity, compassion, and self-direction as an alternative to broken dreams and passive lifestyles.

Kimberley Kinder reveals how the efforts of these Detroiters and others like them create new urban logics and transform the expectations residents have about their environments. At the same time she cautions against romanticizing such acts, which are, after all, short-term solutions to a deep and spreading social injustice that demands comprehensive change.


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About the Author:

Kimberley Kinder is assistant professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Politics of Urban Water: Changing Waterscapes in Amsterdam.

Review:

"Kimberley Kinder’s DIY Detroit is a clever, beautifully written account of everyday life in the wake of conventional market collapse and decades of austerity. It describes the ways that Detroiters have adapted, often defensively, always informally, sometimes illegally, to life without conventional markets and routine municipal services."—Jason Hackworth, author of Neoliberal City



"The book moves easily between personal and neighborhood stories, and big-picture reflections. The thinking is of high quality and the prose is readable rather than academic."—Planning Magazine

"Geographic, ethnographic, and often narratively compelling."—Consumption Markets & Culture

"HIghly readable."—CHOICE

"DIY Detroit is filled with these simultaneously inspiring and heartbreaking tales of perseverance and innovation. Worthwhile."—Reason.com

"DIY Detroit is frankly the Detroit book I have been waiting for. It adds a much-needed perspective to the literatures on urban decay and collective self-provisioning activities."—H-Net Reviews

"Ultimately, Kinder has produced a timely and detailed account of how residents are getting by amidst disinvestment. Her ability to bring her characters and neighborhoods alive by elucidating otherwise unremarkable moments and encounters is impressive. DIY Detroit is an eminently accessible text, stemming, in part, from Kinder’s skill at crafting crisp sentences and her choice to leave citations to the endnotes."—Antipode 

"An engaging and informative read, which also makes a compelling argument for the value of qualitative urban research."—Housing Studies

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9780816697076: DIY Detroit: Making Do in a City without Services

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Book Description University of Minnesota Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. For ten years James Robertson walked the twenty-one-mile round-trip from his Detroit home to his factory job; when his story went viral, it brought him an outpouring of attention and support. But what of Robertson s Detroit neighbors, likewise stuck in a blighted city without services as basic as a bus line? What they re left with, after decades of disinvestment and decline, is DIY urbanism--sweeping their own streets, maintaining public parks, planting community gardens, boarding up empty buildings, even acting as real estate agents and landlords for abandoned homes. DIY Detroit describes a phenomenon that, in our times of austerity measures and market-based governance, has become woefully routine as inhabitants of deteriorating cities domesticate public services in order to get by. The voices that animate this book humanize Detroit s troubles--from a middle-class African American civic activist drawn back by a crisis of conscience; to a young Latina stay-at-home mom who has never left the city and whose husband works in construction; to a European woman with a mixed-race adopted family and a passion for social reform, who introduces a chicken coop, goat shed, and market garden into the neighborhood. These people show firsthand how living with disinvestment means getting organized to manage public works on a neighborhood scale, helping friends and family members solve logistical problems, and promoting creativity, compassion, and self-direction as an alternative to broken dreams and passive lifestyles. Kimberley Kinder reveals how the efforts of these Detroiters and others like them create new urban logics and transform the expectations residents have about their environments. At the same time she cautions against romanticizing such acts, which are, after all, short-term solutions to a deep and spreading social injustice that demands comprehensive change. Seller Inventory # AAS9780816697090

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