"A Midwest Renaissance: Reinvention and Renewal" will be on display at the Harvard GSD through the Spring 2017.
From the project:
Across the Midwest, many cities have struggled with shrinking economies and loss of population. However, many cities have found strategies to capitalize on renewed interest in the city. This project reviews how landscape architects and urbanists can position the urban landscape at the core of the reinvention and renewal process taking place across the Midwest.
The Midwest can also be thought of as The Great Cutover, Rust Belt, Great Lakes Region, Corn Belt, Heartland, Flyover States, and Middle America. The geographic definition can be argued, and these regions have social, cultural, and political histories that still exist and often feel pervasive.
More recently, the national spotlight is on the Midwest as “Trumpland.”
Largely fueled by interests from philanthropy and private foundation communities, reinvention and renewal is taking place across the Midwest. Cities are labeled as livable, creative, and innovative, and millennials are encouraged to move back home to their second-tier city to have a big impact.
How does investment in public space and design have an impact in the Midwest? What is the responsibility of the designer to confront and react to the social, cultural, and political histories in these cities?
The work here is design research documenting projects and stories from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, and Omaha.