Contact person:
Stephen Marr
  • Formas
Responsible at MaU:
Stephen Marr
External project members:
  • Professor Jennifer Hart Virginia Polytechnic University
Time frame:
01 January 2024 - 31 December 2026
Research environment :
Research subject:

About the project

"Ghetto Uber" in Detroit explores community-driven responses to transport failure. The research aligns with an interdisciplinary research frontier that engages southern urbanism perspectives to understand how vulnerable urban communities in settings with limited state capacity innovate “do-it-yourself” (DIY) strategies to mitigate challenges resulting from insufficient infrastructure or service provision. The research investigates a grassroots transport solution in Detroit informally known as “Ghetto Uber.”

To do so, the project utilizes a transdisciplinary approach partnering with Detroit-based organizations, Ghana Think Tank and Transportation Riders United, to conduct community-engaged research that:

  • a) examines current practices of community-initiated transport solutions;
  • b) identifies community needs and preferences for a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable transport system;
  • c) partners with public and private sector stakeholders to develop an implementation plan. The research will adopt a collaborative, mixed-methods approach, including fieldwork each project year (2024-2026), resulting in open-access scientific articles, web-based community mapping tools, and a policy brief.

Sustainable development goals

The research advances a new approach to sustainable urban development rooted in justice and inclusivity by centering the experiences of marginalized residents in pursuit of cities that work better for all residents in accordance with the UN’s SDGs 10, 11, and 17.