"71 POP" Pop-Up Shop Project for Detroit's Designers & Artists
Popping up in the heart of Detroit’s new Sugar Hill Arts District is 71 POP, a retail space set up for emerging & local creatives to sell their collections in rotating installations. As a young entrepreneur herself, Margarita Barry, provides a platform for emerging designers & artists with her idea of 71 POP, “Pop-up shop with a twist,” as she calls it. The goal is to collaborate with 71 designers in the area for an opportunity to set up in a retail environment while providing the sales & marketing as you go about your day.
The retail space is located in the new & highly improved, historic building of 71 Garfield, Detroit. This abandoned building was revived by green-friendly leaders, rebuilt with systems utilizing water & solar power, as well as many other energy efficient installations while retaining the buildings original architectural features. This ornate, yet modern building is designed to cater to artists for residence, studio, or business. An appropriate environment for71 POP.
To properly launch this project, 71 POP must reach a monetary goal by May 25, 2011. Be a part of this movement by donating to 71 POP's Kickstarter HERE.
Demographers and scientists alike broadly predict that once the history of the 21st century is written, water will have emerged as the primary commodity driving the socioeconomic forces shaping world politics and the well-being of the global population estimated even by mid-century to exceed nine billion. (Almost a 30% increase from now for those keeping track…)
Whatever energy alternatives the vicissitudes of oil pricing and availability drive along the way, concerns with accessible power sources will pale alongside the specter of thirst and hunger arising from a shortage of the world’s most basic source of survival, H2O.
That’s why Detroit’s alarming population decline first reported this week in the Times signals what can only be a temporary passage in the patterns of global settlement beginning right here in America. The built world is going to need places like a city, named after the French word for strait, along a river dividing two of the greatest freshwater lakes on the face of the globe (by size, the fourth: Michigan, and the tenth: Erie).
Urban experts and politicians have decided among themselves that “right-sizing” Detroit by shrinking the city is the only way to save it. They couldn’t be more wrong.
As with much of the bad news coming out of Detroit, last week’s abysmal census inspired a peculiar mix of solemn pity and barely concealed delight in the media.
The U.S. Census found the city’s population had plummeted a staggering 25% in ten years — down to a pre-Model T low of 713,000. News writers rebooted their Detroit-as-failed-state storylines. Did you know the city possesses enough vacant land to hold the entire city of San Francisco? That the Pontiac Silverdome sold for the price of a modest one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan? That there are 50,000 stray dogs roaming the streets? The census numbers raced around the Internet, made the front page of the New York Times and lots of other papers.
Local politicians responded quickly, and many all but demanded a recount. City Council president Charles Pugh insisted on Facebook that the count was “way low.” He even explained away the numbers by suggesting a large number of Detroit residents were doing prison time in other cities. Many of the news stories also referenced Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s euphemistic “right-sizing” plan to shrink the city. The plan is still quite vague in its outlines, but it correctly hopes to incentivize citizens living on isolated urban prairies to move to denser, more easily serviced neighborhoods.
A prominent official under former Mayor Dennis Archer’s administration told me that shrinking Detroit “betrays who we are.” Instead, he said, we should be doing the opposite of right-sizing.
"How did Philly grow?" he said. "It grabbed up the suburbs. How did LA grow? It grabbed up the suburbs. Think about it: Detroit is older than the country. [The city was established in 1701 as French trading post.] This place was founded with frontier spirit. And now we’re here in 2010, a bunch of wusses."
I’ve come to learn my friend’s idea is a favorite thought experiment among a certain subset of Detroit-area urbanophiles. Sometimes they will reference David Rusk, the former Albuquerque mayor whose book Cities Without Suburbs makes the case for the economic vibrancy of “elastic” cities (like Houston, Austin, Seattle and Nashville) whose central hubs have the capability to annex or otherwise regionalize their surrounding suburbs into a unified metropolitan area.
The takeaway from the census stories was that Detroit plummeted to 19th place on the U.S. city-size list, behind Austin, Jacksonville and Columbus (Columbus!). But the Detroit metropolitan area — which we’ll define, for these purposes, as Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties — still retains a population of nearly four million. If our territorial-expansion fantasia could have been magically enacted with even two-thirds of this figure, the Greater Detroitopolis would easily vault past Chicago to become the third-largest city in the U.S., behind New York and Los Angeles. This would translate into more state and national clout (and allocated funds, many of which are based on population) and eliminate the need for much of the wasteful duplicate spending inherent in maintaining dozens of tiny separate municipalities, especially at a time when many of these suburban communities have announced their own cutbacks. (In February, the westside suburb of Allen Park announced plans to eliminate its entire fire department.)
Detroit is like rock and roll. It’s like soul. Detroit is the whole idea of cool. If you have to explain it to someone, they probably wouldn’t understand. You have to see it. Live it. Be it. That’s when Detroit starts to move you.