Syncopating the Urban Landscape looks in a creative way at the City of Detroit through the work of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Civic Engagement become the focus of the work illustrated throughout the book and are presented through essays, provocative statements, and project images and descriptions. The outcome is a picture of not just Detroit, but of a way of thinking about cities and people who live in them that has implications worldwide.
In music, to syncopate means to take the stronger, more dominant musical notes and make them weaker, and at the same time to take the weaker notes and make them stronger. In Detroit as well as many other cities around the world, something akin to this process has been happening organically over decades, if not longer. Syncopating the Urban Landscape works to direct this shift, and not let it simply happen. In the eyes of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, the goal of a Syncopated Urban Landscape is to amplify the weaker notes—give them room to grow and to reinforce a new dynamically balanced city that is equitable and ecological.