Flint: Water + Lead + Infrastructure

Flint, a city of about 100,000 in southeastern Michigan, is known as the birthplace of General Motors and for subsequent Rustbelt decline. Two new words define the city nationally: lead poisoning. Contamination of the municipal water supply and a shocking list of resulting health problems are a product of uniquely toxic chemistry, politics, and power within the region and the state. However, aging infrastructure and social inequality, problems shared by many other American cities, were also key ingredients in this disaster, prompting the question of whether this could happen elsewhere, and how to prevent it.

On February 9th, 2016 we were joined by Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee who spoke from Washington, D.C. via webinar about the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and its connections with the city’s infrastructure. Rep. Kildee is a lifelong Flint resident who founded the pioneering Genesee County Land Bank and co-founded the Center for Community Progress, a national organization promoting urban land reform and revitalization.

This event was a special presentation for Syracuse University class ARC 407 Studio|Next: Building the Post-Carbon City#citybynext

Panelists:
Telisa M. Stewart, Assistant Professor, Upstate Medical University
Paula C. Johnson, Professor, Syracuse University College of Law
Session chair and organizer: 
Susan Dieterlen, Research Assistant Professor, Syracuse University School of Architecture, Faculty Research Fellow, SyracuseCoE