This week, faculty member Salvador Lindquist is submitting an abstract from his research project, Incinerator Incorporated: Entangling Governance, Service Provision, Land Tenure, and Urban Morphology for the EDRA52 Detroit: Just Environments conference. This project investigates the Detroit Incinerator, which early last year, the largest waste-to-energy plant of its kind in the United States was decommissioned. After 30 years of continued environmental violations and the almost complete devastation of the surrounding residential and social fabric, the abrupt closure of the facility has been received with skepticism and celebrated by many.
Incinerator Incorporated explores environmental justice through challenging traditional notions of power embedded within the dynamics of contemporary urban transformation. The resulting urbanity aims to imagine more entangled forms of domesticity and production. By reconsidering the role of governance, service provision, land tenure and urban morphology, new and old citizens of the Incinerator District become land stewards, protagonists in the development of more just futures. Incinerator Incorporated proposes a parafictional governance model that sponsors the reclamation of the Poletown East and McDougall-Hunt neighborhoods by leveraging the existing food distribution and waste management infrastructure, urban pastoral nature of the neighborhood, high availability of vacant public land and prevalence of institutional presence through the reformation of land ownership.
Many of the themes addressed in this project are being explored through Lindquist’s DSGN410: Collaborate Studio, where students are taking on the relationship between land, environmental justice, climate change and policy and asking what it means to be a “design activist.” This question coincides with a critical reading into notions of the green new deal, design activism, environmental justice, counter cartographies, design agency, systems thinking and architecture and politics. POST- Studio is a participant of the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Green New Deal Superstudio which culminates in a design summit where students have the potential to engage with other institutions, practices and municipalities in this national conversation. See the website for ongoing work: https://postgndstudio.com/