Appropriating the Past

Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction permeates discussion of plant closures, capitalist landscapes, and urban crises. Yet what of destructive creation? Through ruins photography and luxury loft apartments, urban exploration and downtown revitalization are radically altering the landscape, memory, and market base of Detroit, colonizing the city’s industrial past and separating the emotion of history from its lived experiences. These markets strip buildings of their history and workers of their voices, focusing instead on sublime awe, aesthetic qualities, and middle-and upper-class residence and entertainment. This appropriation positions the city between a dual past of industrial might and abject decay, and an uncertain future promising profound changes how we conceive of an authentic Detroit.

Sustainable Retail Spaces: Establishing the Profile of a "Green Population"

This paper surfaces and describes the “green” population—those who, by their attitudes and/or personal behaviours, align with a sustainable social agenda. It reveals their expectations in relation to sustainable retail environments. The literature is used to identify dimensions that influence individual attitudes and consequent behaviours, in relation to environmental issues, particularly in relation to home and retail environments. These are then used to inform the conduct of eight focus groups of consumers in two tightly defined geographical areas, containing a mix of retail centre types, which are subsequently subjected to telephone surveys. Each investigation is analysed using appropriate qualitative or quantitative techniques and the results thereafter triangulated. It was found that the concept of the “green” shopper is an oversimplification, with various shades of green existing. These variations arise as a consequence of age, gender, household income, occupation, and level of education and are reflected in personal attitudes and beliefs, as well as behaviours at home and expectations of sustainable retail spaces. The designs for environmentally sustainable retail spaces are only economically sustainable if they are socially acceptable. Understanding the individual nature of the ‘green’ shopper, and the size of the ‘green’ shopper population, is central to decision-making in this regard. This research is believed to be the first critical analysis of what constitutes the ‘green’ population in terms of retail environments.

Mapping Urban Interfaces: A Typology of Public/Private Interfaces in Informal Settlements

Urban interfaces play a key role in enabling the different forms of social and economic exchange and the ways in which open space is contested and appropriated in informal settlements. Many upgrading practices involve a transformation of public/private interfaces. The transition between public and private territories is one of the critical issues in planning, urban design, and architecture that has the capacity to enable or constrain exchange and production. This paper develops a typology for analysing and mapping public/private interfaces in informal settlements. Drawing on the evidence from multiple case studies of informal settlements in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and South America, a typology of six interface types is introduced based on the criteria of proximity and connectivity. The study is informed by direct observation, visual recordings, and urban mapping to shed light on the ways in which urban interfaces work in informal settlements.