July 1, 2016

City Steward: Michael RJ Koscielniak

Research Cluster | Place-Makingdcs.headshots.rj

Department | Urban & Regional Planning

Subfield | Science, Technology and Society

Origin City | St. Louis, MO

Research Key Words | power, territory, land, demolition


Research Statement |

I examine the geography and politics of urban demolition. More specifically, I study how the backfill material used to complete residential demolitions in Detroit, MI is identified, approved and distributed. I write about how the movement and regulation of this material raises important questions about democracy, land, property and territory as Detroit officials attempt to “solve” the problem of blight.

Steward Statement |

I am interested in Detroit City Study because I am committed to democratic, collaborative research that challenges what’s possible in cities that have experienced widespread population loss. Many planners, designers and policymakers have turned Detroit into the definitive “problem” city in the United States. I think it is vital that we understand and address the solutions that these actors are proposing, and what kinds of people and places these official solutions benefit or harm.