(Re)Imagined Futures of Detroit: Dystopian and Utopian Views of the Motor City's Future

  • Gary Kun Chan


Detroit occupies a unique position amongst American cities: it is a city known primarily through its relationship to the American automobile industry; the rise and fall of this industry brought with it a similar fate for the city of Detroit. Once hailed as a city on the forefront of technological progress and modernity, it is now known more for its abandoned factories, socioeconomic decline, and a sense of general emptiness. This narrative of a dramatic fall from grace has also brought with it speculation about the city's future, and different visions of the future of Detroit. These imagined futures lie along a spectrum, from the pessimistic, dystopian view to the optimistic, utopia-like response. While each of these poles is problematic in how they contort present understandings of the city, they are also useful in furthering dialogue about how to address real problems that the city of Detroit is faced with.
STS and Our Cities