Jazzing Up the Climate-Friendly City: Scripts for Sustainable and Climate-Friendly Rehabilitation in Detroit and the Ruhr

Doctoral Researcher: Juliane Borosch, M.A.

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau and Prof. Dr. Michael Wala

Mentor: Prof. Michael Batty, University College London

Graphic of projects. Project Jazzing Up the Climate-Friendly City is highlighted.

Jazzing Up the Climate-Friendly City explores how postindustrial cities and their future(s) are closely tied to – and manifest themselves in – industrial heritage sites. As former industrial places, industrial heritage sites are cultural markers which the identity of postindustrial cities is grounded on. They thus become decisive for urban planning and the future of cities, as their ‘heritage’ can also include ecological, site-specific particularities. Therefore, such sites and their stakeholders (here meaning agencies with interest in a project, such as city, corporations, or citizens) try to invert their industrial urban past into spaces for a greener future. Thereby, so-called monuments of decline like Michigan Central station in Detroit or Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord are turned into symbols for the future. Scripts employed to further this development frequently highlight the cultural assets of a project, which then function as vehicles to promote sustainable development.

Working with concepts of urban hermeneutics, the notion of ‘the city as a text’ and materials such as maps, planning documents, and the architecture of buildings itself, Jazzing Up the Climate-Friendly City investigates industrial heritage sites at the conjunction of creative and sustainable urban development in a transnational comparison of Detroit and the Ruhr area.