About This Project

This interactive web project is about the conversations between Detroiters and the projects they've undertaken to revitalize their city. Visitors can learn how mapmaking informs creative placemaking practices in Detroit organizations by viewing a collection of maps, photographs, graphic art, interviews and case studies.

I'm thanksful to the organizations and residents who have participated in this project. This mixed methods research project was developed using case studies, interviews, data analysis, and a survey of the literature. In order to study these mapmaking practices, samples of maps, graphic art, and photography were collected. In-person interviews were conducted with representatives of organizations in Detroit’s downtown, midtown, and uptown districts. These organizations include D:Hive and Little Things Lab, Midtown Detroit Inc. and the North Cass Community Garden, University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, and the Livernois Community Storefront. Additional interviews and samples were collected from Revolve Detroit (Detroit Economic Growth Corporation), the Department of Recreation (City of Detroit), Just Speak, Detroit Soup, Hudson Webber Foundation, along with numerous Detroit residents.

Throughout this project I also facilitated a series of community mapping workshops with the art education meetup group Detroit Art Adventurers. By actively participating in the community I gained insights about how residents envision their revitalizing city. Through hands-on activities including mapmaking, sketching, and paper prototyping we envisioned the future of Detroit’s revitalization. As a group we were able to survey what interventions are currently being used in placemaking and discussed what residents desire to see happen in the city of Detroit.

Get in Touch
I am looking forward to your thoughts! Please email me at scherlinglaura@gmail.com to get in touch. I'm a NYC-based designer who enjoys working on sustainability-themed and nonprofit organization projects. This site provides a "snapshot" of the research I am doing and the full publication will be available toward the end of summer 2014. I appreciate your participation and I hope you will enjoy browsing through this site.

All the content on this site is original. Copyright Laura Scherling & GreenspaceNYC. Photography by Laura Scherling, Laurence Wilse Samson, Jeff Kasper, University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, The Livernois Community Storefront, Midtown Detroit, Inc, and D:Hive. Data Analysis by Bhoomin Pandya and Laurence Wilse-Samson. For a full list of acknowledgements please visit the Credits page.