Cities in Flux: Urban Redensification in Detroit and Guangzhou

Cities in Flux: Urban Redensification in Detroit and Guangzhou

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
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Abstract

A shrinking Detroit and an expanding Guangzhou shape this case, which aims to introduce readers to the nuances of population density and the importance of redensification in sustainable urban planning. Detroit and Guangzhou embody two strikingly distinct sustainable development challenges. In the past several decades, Detroit has deurbanized rapidly, sprawled unsustainably, and watched its population plummet from nearly 2 million to 700,000 in just 50 years. With a population of 14 million, Guangzhou has encountered overurbanization and overdensification: the population continues to grow by 500,000 per year, and Guangzhou’s downtown population density has grown six times that of Detroit. Yet Guangzhou’s overdensification has imposed significant socioeconomic costs in the form of congestion, pollution, and deteriorating public services. Despite being charged with correcting opposite problems, Detroit’s ...

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