Project description

During the sabbatical period (August 2022 – June 2023), I seek to complete a series of articles on everyday practices and politics of climate change adaptation and mitigation in Detroit. The writings coalesce empirical findings and theoretical innovations developed through a FORMAS funded research project, The Practice and Politics of Urban Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts at the Margins (2018-2020).

The proposed project explores how vulnerable urban dwellers in Detroit manage the effects of climate change amidst extreme levels of inequality and in the context of uneven state presence. The proposed articles follow two tracks.

The first two articles draw on interviews, ethnographic observation, and document analysis to examine DIY infrastructure-making in Detroit in both historical and contemporary perspective. Second, two articles emplace Detroit in comparative conversation with Lagos and Lusaka, respectively, to explore shared challenges related to sustainable urbanism and socio-economic and racial (in)justice.

Collectively, the articles advocate for the need to foreground class, race, and inequality in conversations around climate change and sustainability, while highlighting the importance of including the knowledge(s) and perspectives of vulnerable citizens at all stages of the planning processes from conceptualization to implementation. The sabbatical application provides for an extended stay at Wayne State University in Detroit during the autumn of 2022.