#rpDetroit Co-Curator Karen Prater Jasmine on Access to Urban Space in Detroit

Karen Prater Jasmine is a native Detroiter and the Executive Director of the National Organization of Minority Architects. She advocates and teaches advocacy around the country in the locales for equitable access to public and private building projects.

As co-curator for the track "Mobility & Urban Space" at #rpDetroit, Karen Prater Jasmine is providing her expertise to the urban space programme and jointly responsible for the selection of submissions for the Call for Participation. In our interview, she discusses challenges and opportunities regarding access to urban space in Detroit and revitalization of its neighborhoods.

What makes Detroit stand out to you? 
We are fiercely independent. We put the world on wheels and will continue to manufacture products that the world needs. And we’re best buds with Canada!

How would you describe Detroit’s urban space? 
Detroit is a living laboratory of urban space. We have more public owned land than any of the other top ten U.S. urban cities. We should lead the nation in presenting best practices for public land use.

What are challenges and opportunities regarding access to urban space in Detroit? 
Where city government can, it must regulate equitable access to publicly owned land. It must incentivize creative solutions to the problems we face and connect solution-makers to capital. We have an opportunity to prepare the world for the migration of the world’s population as it shifts to urban areas by 2050 by designing scalable solutions to health, housing, jobs, and safety.

If you had unlimited resources, what urban space project would you bring to life in Detroit?
The revitalization of neighborhoods. Every neighborhood would have a place of reflection or worship, a bank, library of the future, space for seniors, place to grow vegetables, small business incubator, refuge for homeless, space for teens, gathering spot for mothers who work in the home while raising little ones, access to beautiful parks, systems for safety, quality grocery stores, strict limits on liquor stores, limits on advertising,

What are you hoping to see from the rpDetroit Call for Participation? 
I would like to see the brightest minds convene and produce solutions for the problems we face in Detroit and around the globe—as many are the same. These solutions must find their way to city hall where the decision-makers are.