A Moveable City

Romulus, Michigan. Home of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the intersection of Interstates 94 and 275 and the crossing of a CSX and Norfolk Southern Line; the city on the move. Since its inception the city has been defined by its capacity to stock other cities, which in turn has exasperated racial and class divides. While the city is well below the state unemployment level, the local economy largely consists of warehouses, hotels, and short-term parking, the forces of globalization require it to allocate its taxes towards incentives for large corporations so the stream of work remains constant – as opposed to reinvesting its money directly in its own citizens. Enter a renewed focus on the local.

The project believes that because the City of Romulus has so many outside forces at play in the determination of its future, one of the best things it can do is to foster local resilience through addressing city’s needs, specifically through food, data and small businesses. The city has long been a food desert despite a Kroger warehouse being located within the city limits. There are a lack of places to buy clothes and home goods despite all the commerce that flows through the city. The project proposes a commercial/food hub owned by the city and operated by the residents, close to downtown so as to tie into existing master planning, yet on the northern side of the interstate to recognize the segregation caused by the infrastructure. By including space for education and training, the city can address the lack of skills in the first place.
Faculty Advisor:
Gina Reichert