Caroline Libresco: DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance.
Detroit Future City, the long-term planning vision for the long-rusting Motor City, embraces the urban farming, permaculture, and ecological urbanism movements seen in cities across the United States, to chart the way to more a prosperous and sustainable future.
Detroit must overcome its landscape sprawl and its prime benefactor: the automobile, to revive the economy and become an environmentally sustainable 21st Century city.
Viewed today, Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” murals might have prefigured Detroit’s downfall, but also envision a renaissance. It harkens to the earth, the races living and working in harmony, where sections of the city have been cleared of distressed neighborhoods and allowed to regrow with food crops, grasses and trees.
An urban conceptual art installation called The Heidelberg Project, named after its street location in the formerly central core of Detroit, Michigan, transforms a neighborhood first devastated by the 1967 riots, plagued by unemployment, poverty, financial redlining, racial segregation, then abandoned, burned, and largely demolished but for a few homes set among open grassy fields.