"Decline and Renaissance of South Bend"


Location: ND Downtown, 217 S. Michigan

Students from Prof. Lucien Steil’s interdisciplinary course “American Towns & Cities: Patterns, Types, & Figures” will present their research on the “Decline and Renaissance of South Bend” from 5:00-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9 at the University of Notre Dame Community Relations Office. The presentation is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

Students will present a reflection on Downtown South Bend discussing its origin and  nature, its history of success and decline, its contemporary problems and potentials, as well as illustrating visions of reconstruction and regeneration, of which many proposed by the School of Architecture. The presentation is organized in 4 sections: -1)Origin & History of South Bend -2) Urban Renewal and Decline -3) Downtown South Bend Today: realities, problems, potentials, -4) Visions for the Reconstruction and Regeneration of Downtown.

Rather than proposing either a nostalgic retrospective, or an anecdotical portrait of a struggling downtown, the presentation “Decline and Renaissance of Downtown South Bend” endeavors showcasing the strength and resources of a vital American Urban Culture as an inspiring and sustainable alternative to urban sprawl and urban blight. It also demonstrates a continuous committment and interaction of the university of Notre Dame with the City of South Bend. Rather than considering the city of  South Bend as a backdrop of the university, the arguments and images to be presented  engage it as a place of learning and emulation, and address the potential of Downtown South Bend as a vital urban center of a vital University city. The purpose of the presentation is both to reflect on the making and un-making of Downtown South Bend but above all to celebrate the virtue of a sustainable urban future where hopefully "Universitas"  and “Civitas” can become a thriving “Univercity”.

Originally published at publicaffairs.nd.edu.