Democratizing the Green City

EVENT: Landscapes of Creative Destruction: Regenerating the Postindustrial City

A wrecking ball and a destroyed building

Co-sponsored by Deutsches Haus and the Urban Democracy Lab at NYU 

April 26, 6:30-8:30pm, Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews

It’s not difficult to visualize the postindustrial city. It is a patchwork of vacant lots, community-cultivated gardens and playgrounds, new arts and performance spaces, and other urban imaginaries that include luxury housing, well-ordered public spaces, and massive palaces of consumption. With the disappearance of industrial economies — and industrial infrastructures — in cities like Detroit, New York, and Berlin, urban landscapes must be refashioned in response to, as economist Joseph Schumpeter famously called it, the “creative destruction” of (postindustrial) capitalism.  How do we contend with these spaces in an age of rapid urbanization?  Is there room for just redevelopment or is the destruction of the industrial past only a prologue to worsening urban inequality?


Boris Vormann, professor in political science and urban political economy at Freie Universität’s John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies.

Eve Baron, Academic Program Manager at The Murphy Institute/CUNY School of Professional Studies/The Graduate Center and Consultant for Urban Planning and Policy Analysis at The Collective for Community, Culture, & the Environment

Robert Elmes, Founder and Executive Director of Galapagos Art Space in Detroit (formerly of Brooklyn)

Moderated by Gordon Douglas, Associate Director and postdoctoral research fellow, Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!

Landscapes of Creative Destruction: Regenerating the Postindustrial City is a DAAD-supported event.