Great Urban Thinkers: Maurice Cox, stadsplanner van Detroit

Great Urban Thinkers: Maurice Cox, stadsplanner van Detroit

America’s ‘Automotive City’, Detroit, has suffered its share of setbacks: the demise of car manufacturing, white flight, black flight, the economic crisis and a huge mountain of debt. Thousands of houses still stand derelict, inhabited by drugdealers or with trees growing through the roof. The city went bankrupt in 2013 – a blessing in disguise, as its 18 billion dollars of debt were erased. The city is on its way back up: downtown is undergoing a marked renaissance and Ford Motor Company, believe it or not, is actually returning to Detroit. Ford will be setting up a new mobility research center in Detroit’s beautiful old train station, which stood empty for decades.

In Detroit I made a video interview with the head of urban planning, Maurice Cox, about Detroit’s upturn – and what still remains to be done. 

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Bij Donald Judd thuis in de Newyorkse wijk SoHo

Bij Donald Judd thuis in de Newyorkse wijk SoHo

Het werk van de Amerikaanse kunstenaar Donald Judd was streng en gedisciplineerd en het bezoek aan zijn huis en studio in de wijk SoHo in New York verloopt in die geest. Judd zag zijn huis niet alleen als woonruimte, maar ook als „een permanente installatie van specific objects” – dat vond hij een beter woord voor zijn driedimensionale werken dan ‘sculpturen’. Na een grondige restauratie is het gietijzeren gebouw voor publiek toegankelijk. 

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TRACY•TV #58: Kleiklooster brings God (back) to the city

TRACY•TV #58: Kleiklooster brings God (back) to the city

The churches are almost empty, but religion is undergoing a comeback in the city. One example is Kleiklooster, a modern-day ‘monastery’ in the 60’s apartment block Kleiburg in the Bijlmer. I met with one of the founders, Johannes van der Akker, who will also be a guest in my live talkshow Stadsleven on Sept. 27th. And… they also brew beer!

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TRACY·TV #56: Rem Koolhaas Casa da Musica in Porto

TRACY·TV #56: Rem Koolhaas Casa da Musica in Porto

The Portuguese city of Porto was European Cultural Capital in 2001, and one of the projects that spawned was the Casa da Música by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. It took longer than expected –  it didn’t open until 2005 – and it went way over budget, from 31 million euro’s to 111 million. But the result is spectacular, combining hard materials like concrete, glass and aluminium with soft surfaces like the Noridc pine wallsof the main hall with goldleaf motifs and the lovely wavy glass wall around it. One thing did surprise me: the Soviet-style furniture along the walls. Watch my vlog and judge for yourself!

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