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A study in “dereliction” and place Just north of the Calumet River David Schalliol, University of ChicagoIVSA 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "A study in “dereliction” and place Just north of the Calumet River David Schalliol, University of ChicagoIVSA 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 A study in “dereliction” and place Just north of the Calumet River David Schalliol, University of ChicagoIVSA 2004

2 J & W: Definition “[A] place may be considered derelict to the extent that the symbols of disinvestment, vacancy, and degradation dominate. Where disrepair, litter, emptiness, violation, and other signs of diminished habitat prevail, a derelict zone exists in mind, if not reality.”

3 Summary: Four Main Points Theoretical: –“Derelict” places are more complex than treated in the literature Methodological –Spatial constraints of development are important –History is important for understanding present –Suggests need for future research and conceptualizations

4 Broken Window Theory: Social “Bad” James Q. Wilson and George Kelling –Broken windows, vacant lots, etc. Signal psychological disinvestment and, subsequently, uncontrolled environment Lead to fear, social atomization, crime Sampson and Roudenbush –Social disorder

5 Urban Succession: Functionally Deteriorated Subset of Chicago School, Social Ecology –W.I. Thomas Burgess Zone of Transition –“Zone of deterioration” with “slums,” “badlands,” “underworlds of crime and vice.” –But also regeneration through gentrification and assimilation –Hoyt White elephants, artifacts of neighborhoods unable to defend themselves –Large homes broken up into “kitchenettes,” etc

6 Economic Perspective: Empty Space Benchmark: R.M. Northam’s “Vacant urban land in the American city,” 1971 –Descriptive typology stresses: Current formal use –E.g. Corporate reserve parcels Undevelopability –E.g. “Natural” physical limitations, parcel size –No reference to previous, current informal use

7 In Summary Broken Windows –Social “Bad” Urban Succession –Functionally Deteriorated Economic –Empty and waiting to be developed –Otherwise “inhospitable”

8 Improvements Wilk and Schiffer, 1979 –Urban Archeology Positive and negative uses Bowman and Pagano, 2000 –Value in “nonproductive use” “Convey … opportunity … informality” Flora and fauna But how to link the accounts?

9 J & W: Beyond classification Most complete study of dereliction, adds dynamism Created/allowed by social, economic and cultural forces. “Decline begins in a landscape when structures, built to contain efficiently and symbolize prescribed functions, prove less efficient.” Industrial, economic: Dereliction used as strategy to gain profit from property that is becoming obsolete by withholding required maintenance.

10 J & W: Stages –Inactivity, wherein plants are mothballed and guarded for future use. –Activity persists, but disinvestment and underutilization are dominant. –Activity persists, but structural abuse occurs. Locations used in fragmented ways, such as a couple of machine shops using small portions of massive factories. –Inactivity, land and buildings are in complete ruin and owner is uninvolved. –Demolition

11 Updated Stages –Pre-development, which is the character of the place before human activity. –New construction, human disruption of the environment and alteration of the land. –“Healthy” activity, during which the plant is operating efficiently. Maintenance and replacement dominates, expansion is possible. –Activity persists, but disinvestment and underutilization are dominant. –Activity persists, but structural abuse occurs. Locations used in fragmented ways, such as a couple of machine shops using small portions of massive factories. –Maintained inactivity, wherein plants are mothballed and guarded for future use. –Owner-monitored inactivity, wherein land and buildings are in ruin, but owner still maintains control over grounds, perhaps through a security force. –Owner-absent inactivity, wherein land and buildings are in complete ruin and owner is uninvolved. –Demolition. –Redevelopment, which corresponds to stage 2 above, albeit without the disruption of the undisturbed environment.

12 Chicago The Loop The Works Illinois Indiana

13 Exploration to Land Alteration Department of War Altered Calumet Straightened Dredged Shaped southern edge

14 True Expansion Begins Slips constructed Ground added Street grid changed

15 Detail of Expansion (“reclamation”) Railroads Miscellaneous Dirt and Debris Granulated Cinders Hot Poured Slag

16 Expansion Completed Current land shape

17 Operation 1938 No ability to expand Dense use Remained in similar state for decades

18 Demolition Under Way Combination of factors Land use issues Only marginally useful Gary electricity

19 Demolition Continues, 1999 Given clean bill of health by US and Illinois EPAs for use in 1994: Residential Commercial

20 Nearly Present Condition

21 1999, as Today

22 Ore Yards in 1970s

23 Ore Yards Today

24

25 Ore Yards: Non-Human Animal Life

26 North Side: Human and Non-Human

27

28 The future DevelopmentDevelopment –South site Solo Cup factorySolo Cup factory Army Corps of EngineersArmy Corps of Engineers –North site New parkNew park Reroute US-41Reroute US-41 Leaving most of the land open for anythingLeaving most of the land open for anything

29 Again, summary Theoretical:Theoretical: –“Derelict” places are more complex than treated in the literature MethodologicalMethodological –Spatial constraints of development are important –History is important for understanding present –Suggests need for future research and conceptualizations

30 The end


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