Miriam Kelly Presents at International Industrial Heritage Conference

"RECLAIMING DETROIT: Community-led Regeneration after Motor City"
October 12, 2015

During the week of September 7th, Miriam Kelly attended the sixteenth international congress of the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) in Lille, France. TICCIH is the world organization for industrial heritage, promoting international cooperation toward the preservation and interpretation of industrial heritage as a cultural resource.

The Congress attracts academics and professionals from around the world, providing a review of industrial heritage initiatives world-wide. This year, the Congress celebrated the inscription of eight industrial heritage sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List and invited presentations on the theme of Industrial Heritage in the Twenty-first Century, New Challenges.

Miriam’s presentation, Reclaiming Detroit, provides insight into an extraordinary chapter in the historical narrative of Detroit. The paper sets out the international significance of Detroit’s industrial heritage and the risks it faces in the context of a city in transition under extraordinary social and economic pressures. Through case studies, it explores how community groups are taking action towards the remediation of blighted neighborhoods and pioneering innovative initiatives to reclaim their industrial past towards a more sustainable future. Just as Detroit transformed the way we lived as an industrial society, so it has the capacity to transform how we live as a post-industrial society. Central to the paper is the importance of developing urban strategies that build on the Motor City’s rich industrial legacy, enabling Detroit not only to redevelop itself, but to reimagine what a post-industrial city ought to be.

The Packard Automotive Plant in the 1930s (left) and today (right)

International TICCIH Congress’ website