Our 2021 Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Awardees are seen below, along with a description of the project!
Brightmoor Neighborhood Stability
This project will provide the residents of the Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development (NWDND) with technical assistance to study the components that support neighborhood stability and sustainable housing tenancy in Brightmoor. The NWDND has successfully run an affordable rental project for 16+ years. This project will not only help these tenants share their story, but will also enhance operations to better serve tenants, as well as enhance fundraising efforts and plans for future construction in the development. As part of the plan to spread this success story, the project will also give students in the Spring Semester 2021 MSU James Madison College course "MC 384: Metropolitan Society, a course on Detroit", an opportunity to work directly with NWDND residents to give students applied research and civic engagement experience. This project will connect residents and outsiders to better understand the dynamic of their neighborhood, forging a platform for increased land and housing values, as well as community capacity in Brightmoor that could attract financial capital and community social capital.
City of Lansing Corridor Improvement
This project will transform the currently underutilized and vacant 0.25 mile land area around the key city intersections of the Cedar St., Larch St., Oakland Ave., and Saginaw St. corridors, through low-impact development. The City of Lansing Economic Development & Planning Department will provide an illustrative plan and build-out analysis of this area using an urban "cores and connectors" strategy for development to create mixed-use, multi-story buildings located close to the street, that are pedestrian-friendly, transit-ready and feature better urban design than what is currently in place. This project will also aim to improve communication with area property owners, stakeholders and residents, increase safety of pedestrians, biking and transportation in the area, and provide greater connectivity to Downtown, Old Town, and the River Trail.
Michigan Tech Husky
This project is designed to prevent the further decline of the Western Upper Peninsula economy by creating the preconditions to help graduating high school seniors create economic opportunities, innovate, connect with innovation and entrepreneurship resources and lead by example for the future. Students from the Houghton High School National Honor Society have partnered with the Scope & Community Engagement Michigan Technological University's innovation and entrepreneurship resource hub, Husky Innovate, to move this pilot project forward by participating in exercises to familiarize students with the steps involved in building a business. Students will gain knowledge and experience as innovators, connect with resources within Michigan Tech Husky's local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, and strengthen community networks. As students prototype selected items, the project will work to help encourage the development of locally sourced products to stimulate the economy.
St. Clair Neighborhood Redevelopment Study
Declining enrollment and a failed bond effort has forced the closure of two elementary schools in the City of St. Clair's East China School District. The land these contiguous schools occupy represents a significant area in the middle of one of the city's residential neighborhoods. The school district is interested in selling the properties but recognizes the opportunity to work with the community and stakeholders to establish a vision for repurposing and or redeveloping the school properties in a way that might attract families with school-aged children to the area. This project will study the schools and their redevelopment potential, identifying strategies for redevelopment and taking advantage of other resources in the area.
City of Westland Vision for Westland Mall
Like many other malls in the country, the Westland Mall site has lost its vibrancy and popularity as the retail market has evolved. With this project, the City of Westland, collaborating with McKenna Associates and Gibbs Planning Group, will seek to evaluate what the future mall site may look like according to market conditions and potential customer populations. This project vision may create a City Centre District plan to repurpose the vacant or struggling mall structures and add a variety of retail, office and residential components to the existing layout, or rather create a Northland Center (2015) type of plan that would include remediating, demolishing, and selling shovel ready property to a qualified developer. The ultimate focus of the project will be to repurpose as much of the existing buildings as possible, focusing on viable land uses and reconnecting the grid.
Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region-Remote Work (WUPPDR)
In recent years, the Upper Peninsula has faced a declining and aging population and shrinking labor pool. As the COVID-19 Pandemic has opened up more opportunities for remote work and changed commuting patterns and migration trends, WUPPDR is seeking to conduct a Remote Worker Trends and Market Analysis and a Remote Worker Strategy with recommendations for action, in order to help attract new residents to the area and rebuild the labor force in the U.P.