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Tuesday, October 22 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Domicology: The Study of Structural Abandonment and its Implications for Universities and Communities

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Economic decline, disinvestment, racial segregation, natural and manmade disasters leave communities with unprecedented amounts of abandonment and blight that exacerbate declining economic, social, and environmental conditions. The dominant end-of-life paradigm for manmade structures that have no reuse potential is to allow these structures to sit vacant, imposing substantial social, economic, and environmental costs on communities. Nationwide, the distribution of vacant homes tends to be concentrated; nearly 40 percent of vacant homes are located in just 10 percent of all census tracts (Duke 2012) and more than half of the census tracts with vacancy rates of 20 percent or higher were in just 50 counties in the US, many of which are in the service areas of urban and metropolitan universities.

Researchers at Michigan State University in partnership with public and private thinkers and doers are creating a critical, intellectual anchor to support the Science of Domicology, a new paradigm of the built environment that emphasizes the life cycle of structures and seeks to understand and improve the ways in which the built environment is designed, planned, built, maintained, repurposed, and – when it has reaches its functional end of life – deconstructed in order to promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Universities have an important role to play in advancing scholarship, outreach, training and practice in advancing this new paradigm.

This session will explore Domicology its opportunities and challenges for scholars and discuss possible collaborations on and off campus that can change the future of structural abandonment in our society.


Rex LaMore

Director, Michigan State University, Center for Community and Economic Development-MSU
Rex LaMore is Director of the Michigan State University’s Center for Community Economic Development and a member of the faculty of the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Dr. LaMore has over 40 years of experience in Community and Economic Development and has focused his career... Read More →
avatar for George Berghorn

George Berghorn

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Washington A