Areas of Concern|Great Lakes Region

MAde Studio | University of Michigan
Cartographies of Concern Research

Lead | María Arquero de Alarcón
Assistants | Chris Canna+Liz Durfee+Angela Fortino+Wen Zhong+Tara Mather+Katharine Pan

The water  landscapes of the Great Lakes Region are among the most heavily infrastructurized territories in the world, and their transformation over centuries reveals the underlying geo-political agendas aimed at positioning the region globally. Two countries, eight states, one province, dozens of counties, and thousands of municipalities share some responsibility for protecting water quality.

This research explores the landscape qualities of the four straits that embody the continuity of the Great Lakes system: St. Mary’s River, St. Clair River, Detroit River, and Niagara River. 

These rivers are the only bi-national Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Region, as jointly defined by the US and Canada. This classification indicates that the environmental health of the water in these zones is highly comprised and establishes a set of requirements for recovery as a priority for both nations. The project brings together the complex policy frameworks that define water quality standards with the material qualities of the landscapes along the shoreline of these four areas. 

Description courtesy of MAde Studio