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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics


1. What factors led to the decline of the city and the resulting fiscal crisis?

2. What is the condition of the city, today?

3. What, if any, are the strategic directions for Detroit?

4. Who, if anyone, is currently in charge of the planning (and development) process in the city? And who may be missed-out?

5. Beyond bankruptcy, are there resources that can fund urban reconstruction?

6. What can America (and other countries) learn from Detroit?



Professor Robin Boyle



  • Visiting Professor, Fakultät Raumplanung, TU-Dortmund, Germany (fall 2014)
  • Professor of Urban Planning, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University, Detroit. Mi.
  • Born and educated in Scotland. Studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Reading, UK.
  • Career: Research Associate: Department of Geography, University of Edinburgh; Lecturer and Senior Lecturer: Center for Planning, University of Strathclyde 1977-1992; Visiting Professor University of Delaware, 1985; Wayne State University 1992-
  • US Citizen 2004
  • Member of the UK Royal Town Planning Institute (1977- 2010); American Planning Association; Urban Affairs Association; Urban Land Institute.
  • Chair, Planning Board, City of Birmingham, Mi.
  • Board Memberships: Greening of Detroit, Michigan Suburbs Alliance and Urban Land Institute (Michigan).
  • Research interests focus on public policies and planning for large cities, with an emphasis on governance and economic development in a metropolitan context. Recently completed a study of surface transportation options between Detroit Metro airport and downtown. Scholarly research has included cross-national policy responses to urban decline, with a detailed study of how mid-west cities are responding to “shrinkage”.
  • Publications/Reports: on Urban Transit; Regional Management; Shrinking Cities.
Wednesday, 5 November, 2014 - 16:00 to 17:00
Contact name: 
Clare Cassidy
Event location: 
Mill Lane Lecture Room 4