Deconstructing citizenship and the growth of Detroit's green renaissance



Detroit is in the midst of a contemporary urban renewal project that is being carried out through green gentrification. The displacement of residents is happening through the discursive and political management of the water system, which produces conditions that leave residents with few options for remaining in the city. In this article, I explore how resource management, particularly water and wastewater infrastructure, has been used to degrade the political efficacy of Black Detroit residents. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis of news articles and government reports, I argue that in recent years the city of Detroit has developed a wasting economy. This political-economic structure relies on the coupling of deconstructive and constructive processes that promote the withering of citizenship in order to make way for radical racial transformation in access to and control over the city. 

Keywords: embodied metabolism, infrastructural violence, environmental racism, Green gentrification

How to Cite: Carrera, J. S. (2022) “Deconstructing citizenship and the growth of Detroit's green renaissance”, Journal of Political Ecology. 29(1). doi: