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Strings of Life - Circular Economy in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Matteo Dossetto

Strings of Life - Circular Economy in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Rel. Roberta Ingaramo, Maicol Negrello. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile, 2021

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Ever since its first appearance, the incinerator has been a very controversial object which people don’t easily trust. Taking into consideration progress and the evolution of technology which have both made this instrument much more sustainable for green development, the collective imagination has never shifted from those original opinions. Moreover, issues like trash disposal and fresh food production in the United States are growing increasingly serious. We have to re-think a new living model that will concentrate on all these problems and try to find an adaptive solution with the structures that we already have at our disposition. Is it possible to create a replicable model for a performing instrument that receives energy from trash in 2020, using it to generate fresh food products that people need? It is the driving question behind this thesis, following a cognitive path that will outline these kinds of energy facilities: starting from the sociologic history of incinerators and all the issues that ensue, inherent to the recent history of Detroit and all the associations and protests against it, passing through new technologies and methods for trash disposal maximizing returns, reducing the issues of smell, and dissecting whatever other problems which are created within the community as a result. The final aim of this thesis is to generate an energy cycle starting from waste, reinvesting it within high-tech structures for fruit, vegetables and meat production for Detroiters. This could be useful for an underlying and very hidden problem in the United States, especially in Detroit, which is the issue of food desertification. It is a major wide-spread problem in the whole of Wayne County. The last purpose of this project is to raise the level of the quality of food and, at the same time, reduce trash produced by packaging thanks to the 0 km market hub of this project, and thanks to the spaces of Eastern Market, which could resolve these problems. The cycle closes its path with trash sorting, where the organic portion will be sent to a new biomass central plant, while the other parts will be divided between incinerator and recycling factories. These facilities are currently in operation in two areas near the Detroit Renewable Power Area. Energy remnants will be used by the citizens with a district heating network which is already used to lower the very high existing energy bills of the city. The hypothetic scenario for Detroit could be a possible shrinking city thanks to these punctual interventions regarding energy and food, so the county can reduce the energy waste more steadily. This project would be an example of how a city, drastically crippled by economic crisis – the auto-motive crisis of 2010 to 2013 - can recover once more with a very clear and solid idea of how to do it. The City of Detroit cannot depend exclusively on the automotive industry, but needs to divide its investments, in particular in sustainable energy, and to improve the welfare and quality of life, starting with food production.

Relators: Roberta Ingaramo, Maicol Negrello
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 327
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Per Il Progetto Sostenibile
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: Lawrence Technological University (STATI UNITI D'AMERICA)
Aziende collaboratrici: Lawrence Technological University
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/19699
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