Garage Talks: Field Notes on Detroit with Reif Larsen

GARAGE TALKS is a news series of talks, panels, gatherings hosted by the Troy Innovation Garage that will explore issues of community, urbanism and design in Troy and the greater Capital Region. The inaugural event was a talk by New York Times journalist Reif Larsen entitled “The 21st-Century City: Habitats of Contact” about his experience reporting a story on Detroit’s current urban renaissance.

Following the talk, a panel of local city organizers had the chance to discuss some of the lessons from the Motor City and potential parallels to initiatives underway in Troy. How do we activate 20th-century industrial infrastructure into 21st-century playgrounds of creativity and innovation? How do we reimagine abandoned spaces into dynamic cultural marketplaces? How do we bring people out of their cars and onto sidewalks, into parks, markets, incubators, plazas, waterfronts, museums and studios? Using the case study of Detroit, we’ll look at some of the ways the Motor City has overcome its challenges and evolved into one of the more exciting urban centers in America.

A special thank you to our talented local friends who led this thought-provoking discussion on Troy:
Heidi Knoblauch, owner of Plumb Oyster Bar, CEO of Receipt HQ and soon to be chair of city Industrial Development Agency
Barb Nelson, Director of Troy Architectural Program (Tap, Inc), Former RPI professor and former chair of planning board
Liz Reiss, CEO, The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy-based arts, education and cultural center
Emily Menn, Managing Partner of DHR Properties and owner of 10 residential buildings around Downtown Troy
Jeff Mirel, Executive VP of The Rosenblum Companies and founder of Albany Barn
Ryan Silva, President of NYS Economic Development Council and former aide to Governor Cuomo, as well as long time Rensselaer Chamber of Commerce staff member

We look forward to hosting a number of #GarageTalks with a myriad of important topics in 2019!

Read Reif’s New York Times Article here: “Detroit: The Most Exciting City in America”