My name is Patrick Cooper-McCann, or Cooper for short. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. I study urban and regional planning. I focus on cities experiencing long term decline.

I grew up just north of Detroit in Hazel Park, MI. Since then, I’ve split my time between Detroit and Ann Arbor. As an undergrad, I held internships at Transportation Riders United, Nortown Community Development Corporation, and the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice. I graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan’s Residential College in 2010. After college I served for a year at Focus: HOPE through AmeriCorps before returning to the University of Michigan for grad school. Since then I’ve stayed involved in Detroit, most recently working for the Graham Sustainability Institute and Focus: HOPE as the coordinator of an Integrated Assessment of the “HOPE Village Initiative.” I have also organized dozens of talks and workshops highlighting the most significant research being done in and on Detroit.

I received my Master of Urban Planning in 2014 and will earn my doctorate in 2017. As a scholar, I critically assess plans and policies that affect racial and social justice in legacy cities. For more on my research, see here. I also write about my research on my blog and on Twitter, where I share news stories and commentary on Detroit for 5,000+ followers: @rethinkdetroit. On Twitter, I strive to tell Detroit’s story in full, sharing both its challenges and its progress. I do so as an academic and an advocate. You can message me there or reach me by email at pcooperm@umich.edu.