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December 7, 2018 | 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Tierney Alumni House | Map
5510 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free

An Emeritus Academy colloquium presentation by Harriet B. Saperstein

Abstract: The Detroit Riverfront has become an important and exciting recreational destination and has received deserved awards for its planning, projects, and events. Just recently the Ralph Wilson Foundation awarded the newest park on the W. Riverfront $50 million to accelerate its proposed development (as well as an additional $50 million for Parks and Trails throughout Michigan). Using extensive historical and present-day slides and illustrations, reflecting on my personal experiences at the City of Detroit Planning and Recreation Departments, and adding updated information from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and other sources, I will describe conflicts, competitive uses, and cooperative efforts that resulted in the exciting riverfront today, and share the plans and projects now underway on both the East and West Detroit riverfront.  I hope to raise questions about the relationships between planning and politics that go beyond the Riverfront and affect many projects in our communities today.

Harriet B. Saperstein is a sociologist turned planner, specializing in community and economic development, with extensive research and practical experience in local, national, and international urban waterfront and recreational development. Between 1967 and 1990, she held senior positions with the City of Detroit, where she coordinated and facilitated numerous major projects in neighborhoods, Belle Isle, and along the Detroit Riverfront. Between 1990 and 2007, she was President of HP Devco, serving Highland Park, and board member and then Chair of the Woodward Avenue Action Association. She has been an International Research Fellow at the Center for Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Birmingham, England; taught graduate courses on metropolitan conflicts at Wayne State University and the University of Detroit Mercy; has given numerous presentations to community groups; and presently serves on several boards concerned with community development and social justice including the WSU Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Place: first floor conference room of the Tierney Alumni House, 5510 Woodward (just north of the Park Shelton parking structure on NE corner of Woodward and Ferry St.). Visitor parking available behind the building. Please come to the rear door of the house and ring the bell for entrance. There is handicap parking and a ramp to the front of the building for those who need it.

For more information about this event, please contact Arthur Marotti at 313-577-2490 or