Case Study Canton: Is It Time to Come Up With New Ways to Design Suburbs?

In Metro Detroit, we build, and build, and build. And the strain on services, and on preservation of open spaces, builds right alongside.

Jerome Vaughn

Southeast Michigan is a poster child for sprawl — a metropolis designed less for people, and more for cars. And the development that has fueled that sprawl for decades continues to reach further and further into previously rural areas.

We build, and build, and build. And the strain on services, and on preservation of open spaces, builds right alongside.

As part of the series, Crossing the Lines, WDET is looking specifically at stories from Canton Twp. and how they relate back to all of us in the Detroit region.

As WDET’s Laura Herberg explains, “Years ago Canton was known for its fields of sweet corn. But beginning in the 1970s, waves of housing development spread through the township, starting on the east side. Now, subdivisions are growing west.”

On Detroit Today, Herberg takes a look at how residents and the township have responded to a recent effort to build houses next to a rural road that’s certifiably beautiful.

Stephen Henderson also speaks with two people who have unique perspectives on these issues — one local, and one national.

Jeff Goulet is Canton’s community planner. He defends the township’s approach to planning and development.

Amanda Kolson Hurley a writer who specializes in architecture and urban planning, a senior editor at CityLab, author of the new book “Radical Suburbs,” which looks at experimental communities in American suburbia.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.


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