Online First: The Everyday Emergency Planning and Democracy Under Austerity Regimes

The Everyday Emergency

Planning and Democracy Under Austerity Regimes

  1. Carolyn G. Loh1

  1. 1Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
  1. Carolyn G. Loh, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University, 3198 FAB, 656 W. Kirby, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. Email:


In the last several years, the governor of Michigan has placed seven cities under the control of emergency managers (EMs), who have the authority to make drastic cuts and rearrangements of public processes and services. I investigate what happens to planning processes under these circumstances, and how EMs use planning to accomplish their goals. I find that many of the cities devote renewed attention to planning, and that the planning process may function as an alternative public participation process, given that the normal democratic process had been disrupted. I also find that the implementation of the plans is likely to be problematic because of staffing cuts, and that planning in itself cannot solve the structural problems that led to these cities’ financial distress.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s