Discovering and applying new and innovative economic development tools, models, policies, and programs
Creating Jobs and Wealth in Distressed Michigan Communities

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Local Technical Assistance

  • 2024: NMU SLFG Projects

    Authors: Jelili Adebiyi, PhD

    Consumer Plastic Consumption, Reuse and Recycling in Upper Peninsula Michigan:

    The increasing global plastic production, projected to reach 1,124 million tons by 2050, poses significant sustainability challenges. The environmental consequences include massive economic losses, with 80-120 billion dollars lost annually globally due to short single-use plastic cycles. Despite efforts to address the issue, a substantial amount of plastic, both globally and in the United States, ends up in landfills, contributing to pollution and ecosystem losses. Stakeholders, including governments, scientists, and the public, have taken actions to mitigate plastic-related issues. However, there remains a crucial need for extensive consumer education on plastic sustainability, recycling practices, and reduced single-use consumption. The proposed research project aims to address these gaps by conducting a case study on consumer plastic behaviors in Marquette, Michigan, exploring factors influencing plastic consumption, reuse, and recycling knowledge and behaviors. The study would be undertaken in collaboration with Recycle906, Marquette County solid waste management authority. The findings from the study will be used to propose recommendations on how the plastic consumption footprint in Marquette can be reduced.

    Co-Constructing Circular Economic Opportunities Through University Waste to Organics Diversion Program:

    More than 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. yearly, causing enormous economic loss and negative enviro-climatic impact. Most wasted food ends in landfills and is a major source of methane emissions in the U.S. Universities and colleges across the country are major food wasters. This presents circular economic opportunities for food waste diversion from landfills and repurposing into organic material for improved soil health and agricultural productivity. This project addresses this as it explores the opportunities for the diversion of food waste that is generated at Northern Michigan University dining to produce vermicompost.

    About the Project
  • 2024: MSU Urban and Regional Planning Practicum Course

    Authors: Dr. Kotval and Community Partners

    Below is the summary of the six SLFG projects.

    Lady Bug Center at Churchill Gardens:

    The Ladybug Center at Churchill Gardens in Lansing, MI, aims to transform into a regenerative development, addressing environmental challenges exacerbated by Michigan's automotive industry. This project aims to go beyond sustainability by actively eliminating carbon and achieving a net-zero future. Focused on regenerative agriculture and housing, the community project aims to improve soil health, reduce waste, mitigate climate change, and enhance economic and social well-being. The proposed development includes single-family homes, apartments, retail space, a farm, and community gardens, designed in an ecovillage format on 8-12 acres in southwest Lansing. The project aims to measure its impact through quantifiable carbon credits and compliance with climate action project standards.

    The City of Flint: Building Upon the Existing Neighborhood Plan with Particular Focus on Economic Development and Identified Historic Business Corridors:

    The City of Flint adopted the Imagine Flint Master Plan in 2013, which led to the development of neighborhood plans in subsequent years. One such plan was for the Civic Park Neighborhood (2019), home to the historic Civic Park subdivision, recognized as one of the first planned subdivisions in America. Originally established for plant workers in Flint, the neighborhood experienced a rapid decline following the closure of the automotive industry and the subsequent departure of workers from the area. This study aims to build upon the existing neighborhood plan, particularly focusing on economic development and identifying historic business corridors. The goal is to delve deeper, update, and envision how these plans can be brought to fruition. Vacant corridors within the Flint community present untapped opportunities for transformation. These corridors offer significant potential for development. Thus, this study aims to create a welcoming and attractive space that can benefit both residents and local businesses in the Flint area.

    St. Johns North Gateway Project:

    The North Gateway Project Goal is to embark on a catalytic project by which momentum can be brought to this site via creative ways to honor the history of this region, provide visionary ways to redevelop this property via mixed uses of housing and retail/commercial spaces, and gain support for line-item funding for blight elimination/demolition of all or some of the remaining silos on this site.

    City of Utica: Downtown Sub-Area Plan Proposal:

    The City of Utica, a small community in west-central Macomb County, faces unique development challenges, including brownfield sites and a lack of cohesive development along Auburn Road. In collaboration with the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, Utica is launching a comprehensive effort involving local government, community organizations, businesses, and residents. The focus is on completing a Comprehensive Master Plan update and creating a sub-area plan for the Downtown District to address issues such as vacant parcels, automotive and industrial uses, and empty storefronts. The primary goal is to enhance the overall quality of life, economic vitality, and attractiveness of the downtown area, with considerations for the potential relocation of municipal buildings to facilitate mixed-use development.

    2024 Master Plan Update, East Lansing:

    As part of the planned 2024 Master Plan update, the City of East Lansing seeks to engage all members of the community, including MSU students living on- and off-campus. The objective is to design and implement an engagement strategy to accomplish this goal.

    MorningSide Neighborhood on Detroit’s East Side:

    The MorningSide neighborhood on Detroit’s east side is well positioned to receive significant funding to upgrade its aging single-family housing stock. To receive such funding, a professional analysis of current housing conditions and needs is required. Three area nonprofit organizations, U-SNAP-BAC Nonprofit Housing Corporation, Habitat for Humanity Detroit and the MorningSide Community Organization have joined forces to request assistance from MSU students in the Urban and Regional Planning Program. 

    Exterior building conditions of vacant and occupied houses across the 190-block neighborhood can be surveyed and compared to previous condition studies such as the Detroit  Residential Parcel Survey. Interior home repair needs can be estimated through resident interviews (random sampling), email questionnaires and focus groups.

    About the Project
  • 2024: International Center of Greater Flint and the Global Flint Initiative

    Authors: Adil Mohammed and Phyllis Sykes

    The International Center of Greater Flint (ICGF) CLP proposes to develop a community grassroots outreach process to create a strategic vision and implementation plan for a Global Flint Initiative (GFI). GFI is an economic and community revitalization strategy that focuses on attracting and retaining international talent by becoming a Welcoming Community. The proposed needs assessment will involve an extensive immigrant groups outreach to conduct focus groups, interviews and surveys throughout the region over several months. The goal is to collect data to document the true assessment of this population. In addition to reaching out to the immigrant population, the same method will be implemented with Flint’s native population. This initiative plans to foster a welcoming environment for international talent in Flint, engaging immigrant groups and native residents to build a cohesive and economically resilient community.


    About the Project
  • 2024: A Regional Model for Small Business Prosperity

    Authors: Robert Carson, AICP and Zachary Vega

    This is a case study of four Michigan Works! program services in Northwest Lower Michigan. This study will provide a comprehensive review of the program’s small business development services and their impact in statistically underserved communities through descriptive statistical analyses and stakeholder interviews. The researchers will identify the regional referral methods that client small businesses have found most effective in their development, develop a survey instrument that identifies program strengths, areas for improvement, and financial impact, and how these methods could be replicated throughout Michigan. While Michigan Works! has been around since 1996, there are very few analyses of its overall effect on small business referrals from a regional perspective. Research into the programs would help to identify strengths and weaknesses and could help other regional entities such as chambers of commerce, county governments, and industry leaders to potentially replicate the programs’ referral methods. These best practices would be influential in helping distressed local communities build their economic bases.

    About the Project
  • 2023: Shiawassee County Development Handbook

    Authors: Jack Greenstein, Micheal Jones, Shruti Nahar, & CJ Sivak

    Shiawassee County is a low-population rural county that lacks the resources commonly found in larger metropolitan areas. The existing capacity for change is limited, and the County’s fragmentation of local government entities creates unique identities and rules. There are twenty-eight governmental entities in Shiawassee County. While some townships are still under county jurisdiction for planning, several townships have pulled out and begun to plan independently in recent years. Because of financial limitations, the ability to hire is lacking throughout the County. The County needs to attract more business and development opportunities. This project seeks to find ways to improve the planning process to aid Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership to make it easier and more desirable for businesses and developments to locate in Shiawassee County. 

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  • 2023: Review of the Benefits of Parks and an Inventory of Parks in Benzie County, MI

    Authors: Mary Kate Bejma, Conor Warren, Michael Wilkinson, Xinyi Yao, & Heather Zeigler

    This study will answer the overarching question of, ‘Is establishing a county parks and recreation director for Benzie County feasible based on current conditions?’ The purpose of this project is to help the Benzie County Recreation Commission and the County Board of Commissioners to conduct a feasibility of the County’s ability, or lack thereof, to have a sustained recreation director on staff. Additionally, this study will provide experience and exposure working with a planning commission and developing a professional planning report. 

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  • 2023: Leveraging the Planning Process to Create a Model of Engagement for Communities in Need

    Authors: Jake Parcell

    Leveraging the planning process to improve the results of regulations and development for communities 
    is the quintessential function of what municipal planners, consultants, and volunteer boards and 
    commissions strive to accomplish. In Michigan, this process is accomplished through decades worth of 
    empirical research combined with guidance from state statutes like the Michigan Planning Enabling Act 
    (MPEA) (2008) and Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (MZEA) (2006). However, the process has a tendency 
    to fail underserved communities that do not have the capacity to engage their population at the regional 
    level. This Co-Learning Plan (CLP) seeks to create policy recommendations based on best practices and 
    public feedback to leverage the planning process for the greatest impact in our overstretched communities. 

    This CLP will accomplish this by creating a review of the shortcomings of planning processes and the 
    problems presented to decision-makers via public meetings. Furthermore, this CLP will review the 
    shortcomings on the community’s behalf, such as communication barriers, internet access, and costs. After 
    this research is compiled each facet of the planning processes will be broken down into a matrix that 
    highlights the best practices at each phase. This matrix will be sent out for community review, in which 
    the most effective steps of the process will be highlighted and then standardized into a recommendation 
    for communities to improve their planning processes.

    The formal planning process can be lengthy and difficult, which includes an ample amount of public 
    participation and volunteer action from start to finish. Ultimately, the results of the public input session 
    of this paper focused heavily on achieving consensus, communicating effectively with difficult to reach 
    populations, managing the timeframe and costs of the planning process, and helping to enable staff to 
    facilitate the process. These recommendations can help local board and commission members visualize 
    the planning process from start to finish and make recommendations for amending statutes that will help 
    streamline planning in Michigan. This CLP is the first step towards helping communities who need ways 
    to increase their capacity to utilize the planning process for the best results. This CLP received a high level 
    of participation from volunteers across the state; and seeks to move forward with more outreach and 

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  • 2023: Collaborative Partnership Models: A Case for Increased Capacity and Efficiency

    Authors: Robert Carson, AICP, Zach Vega, AICP

    This paper examines an ongoing vexing problem in Northwest Lower Michigan’s township government structure and a proposed solution. For the first time since the 1960’s and 1970’s, much of the 10-county Northwest planning region (Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix,   Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Wexford) is experiencing rampant growth. As a result, there are myriad planning themes that the largely rural area has not had to contend with in decades due to increased demands on factors such as land use, housing, transportation, permitting and conservation. Municipal leaders have had to face land use planning challenges most often experienced in places like Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor, established centers of commerce and population. This paper begins by examining the trends in the planning profession that call for greater technical professionalism in the region and the current governmental structures that are making it difficult for this professionalism to exist widely in Northwest Michigan. The authors then summarize an anecdotal survey of three different collaborative planning models at the county level to provide various solutions to this problem, with all three consisting of the same proposed structure: a collaborative planning model.

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  • 2023: Activate Scottville

    Authors: Sebastian Bies, Freddy Horta, Gauri Mhatre, Kole Nicholoff, & Isha Pithwa

    The City of Scottville is lacking basic walking infrastructure throughout the city, making it difficult and dangerous for children to walk and bike to school. These same issues have made it difficult for residents to access important landmarks, such as a mushroom factory that is the largest employer in the area. Furthermore, the sidewalk issues, along with excessive parking options, have contributed to an unlively downtown area. This project will help to create a plan for the City of Scottville for reliable and safe walking routes for all residents that can connect important sites, while revitalizing downtown.

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  • 2021: Energy Challenges in the Keweenaw: Recruiting the Community to Develop Innovative, Acceptable Solutions and Local Supply Chains

    Authors: Melissa Davis

    With this fellowship, there is the opportunity to assist Copper Country residents in two ways. The first is to work with Keweenaw County residents to learn about, research and vet potential municipally-owned renewable generation sites and also consider which types of generation yield different potential revenue streams. This process involves reaching out to interested residents and asking them to commit to a four month process of volunteering 1-2 hours a month. It starts with a hour tutorial to get people up to speed on energy concepts and vocabulary, then finding out which area of the project they are most interested in, then dividing into smaller research groups for two months. They are then asked to share the results of their research with the larger group (at the end of the 4 months) and this group will look at all of the information and vote for their most preferred top three projects. 

    The second part of this fellowship-project is to work with Michigan Technological University's MakerSpace students and Houghton High School National Honor Society students to prototype and develop products that can be made cost-competitively in our area, and test-market them locally to evaluate if enough revenue could be generated to start small businesses to produce them. Through our test-marketing, the hope to also develop a customer base. Ideally, through this process, several products and also responsible entrepreneurs who would like to start a small business, whose startup costs could be crowd-financed.

    About the Project
  • 2018: Village of Sebewaing Sea Kayaking, Walking, and Recreation Study

    Authors: MSU School of Planning Design and Construction

    The Village of Sebewaing is in the beginning stages of their first Master Plan in over thirty years. To include the Village's wonderful yet underutilized natural resources, this plan will take into account factors unique to Sebewaing. Due to budget constraints, this fiscally distressed community is seeking the help of the MSU Urban and Regional Planning Practicum Program, to incorporate a kayak presence and walking path into attainable goals within the Village of Sebewaing Master Plan. Students will help evaluate current kayak and walking trends, analyze data for feasibility, identify the best potential site(s), and formulate strategies for implementation to create a more navigable community for residents and visitors alike. This has the potential to spur future revitalization and economic growth for downtown Sebewaing and surrounding areas.

    About the Project
  • 2018: Downtown Durand Development Strategy

    Authors: Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction

    The City of Durand is in the process of updating its 2004 Downtown Economic Enhancement Strategy. Home to roughly 3,400 residents, the City hosts a population that is 64% low to moderate income (LMI). The community has made great strides to improve and beautify the downtown district, but it still struggles to attract and retain viable local businesses. The goal of updating this plan is to develop a comprehensive strategy for attracting, retaining, and growing local businesses in the historic downtown. It will include performing basic market research, implementing a community wide survey, and incorporating new data into the existing plan parameters to identify recommendations and implementation strategies. For example, identifying business development strategies that target high demand commercial uses.

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  • 2017: Fairlane Town Center

    Authors: Dr. Zenia Kotval, Michigan State University & Jeff Polkowski, City of Dearborn

    This project focused on the automobile-oriented Fairlane Planning Area located in the center of the City. Dearborn planners inspired the students to develop a redevelopment project to integrate the mall site with the rest of the Dearborn community. It was the City's goal to partner with MSU student planners to create a Vision Plan and Economic Development Strategy that will include recommendations for connectivity, beautification, urban design and redevelopment opportunities. The City would like to attract commercial and residential redevelopment, improve connections between the east and west Dearborn, identify underutilized land, and enhance pedestrian access.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2017

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  • 2016: The Southend District: Vision Plan and Economic Development Strategy

    Authors: Yiran Chen, Christina Ignasiak, Melanie Nieske, & Donald Whipp, Michigan State University

    By creating a vision plan and economic development strategy for the Dix-Vernor Corridor, the City of Dearborn will be able to take advantage of planning and redevelopment efforts to improve the Dix-Vernor District.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2016

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  • 2015: Impact Assessment of Community Arts and Cultural Programs in East Lansing

    Authors: Michigan State University

    This project focused on the economic contribution of festivals in small and medium sized cities along with a case study of the impact of East Lansing's Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (SSJF). The emphasis was on measuring and assessing the financial impact of community arts and cultural programs along with examples and case studies of events and festivals contributing to community development.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2015

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  • 2014: Impact Assessment of Pollution in Southwest Detroit

    Authors: Madonna University

    This project was an impact study of the health and economic costs of pollution in Southwest Detroit. The main objective of the study was to apply existing knowledge and evidence about health impacts in Southwest Detroit to specific social and community contexts.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2014

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  • 2014: Great Lakes Bay Regional Transit Study

    Authors: Jeremy Killion, Trent Varva, Lauren Delzeith, Andrew Kumar, Jake Parcell, Krystle Rajewski, John Kaczynski, Saginaw Valley State University

    The Cardinal Policy Institute researched the feasibility of a regional public transit authority for the Great Lakes Bay region. Using examples of successful regional mass transit authorities, this system intended connect Saginaw, Bay City, Midland, Birch Run, Mt. Pleasant, and Standish Michigan.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2014

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  • 2014: City of Inkster: Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan

    Authors: Charles S. Nelson, Alexis Horton, Michigan State University

    This project focused on updating the five year Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan of Inkster, Michigan. It involved public listening sessions, a mail survey to a sample of registered voters, and development of a draft plan.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2014

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  • 2014: Arts/Culture Based Economic Development in Flint

    Authors: Mark Wilson, Michigan State University

    The Flint Cultural Center (FCC) offers great potential to serve community interests and needs to leverage tourism, to foster creativity and knowledge development, and to serve as an anchor for placemaking around Flint. This project used the FCC as a case study in economic development potential analyzing opportunities for the FCC as well as linking FCC opportunities to the arts and culture elements of the Flint Master Plan.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2014

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  • 2013: Tourism Development Strategy for Idlewild, Michigan

    Authors: Cortney Dunklin, Corean Reynolds, Emilio Voltaire, Nathalie Winans, Matthew Wojciechowski, Michigan State University

    The purpose of this project was to help with the revitalization of Idlewild as a tourist destination. To accomplish this, students partnered with the Idlewild Community Development Corporation to assess Idlewild's cultural and historical assets and potential tourist market.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013

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  • 2013: St. Clair County Bike Share Feasibility Analysis

    Authors: Pam Brushaber, Nash Clark, Jacob Maurer, Jonathan Sharp, Michigan State University

    This project identified whether a bike share program could be successful as a placemaking element, providing an additional, green transportation choice to residents and visitors in a smaller urban area with key tourism, recreation, and cultural assets. The objectives of the proposed Bike Share Feasibility Study includes a historical overview of what a bike share program is and how it is has evolved, including a scan of best practices.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013
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  • 2013: Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan for Perry, Michigan

    Authors: Dr. Charles Nelson, Shannon Mazurie, I-Chun Wu, Michigan State University

    Working in cooperation with City of Perry representatives, Dr. Chuck Nelson and a number of his graduate and undergraduate student assistants, proposed to update the plan per the specifications of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the eligibility criteria of the MNRTF as described in the Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plan Certification Checklist (PR 1924-1) published by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The goal in this process was to have a plan that would make the City eligible to apply for an MNRTF grant in the April 1, 2014.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013

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  • 2013: Meridian Mall Sub-Plan


    German urban planning students from Dortmund University School of Architecture teamed up with MSU School of Planning Design and Construction students to conduct a five day visioning session focused on the Meridian Mall property in Okemos, Michigan. The students looked at the property as a blank slate and others focused on a reuse or a conversion of the existing building. The results of this visioning became a part of the Meridian Mall project that is a part of the Capital Access Initiative and the Corridor development study funded by Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013

    About the Project
  • 2013: City of Owosso: Washington Corridor Plan

    Authors: Ken Hunter, Sam Schultz, Ryan Musser, Jessica Wendlandt, Jia Zhuang

    The goal was to enhance the corridor between Baker College and downtown Owosso by focusing on the built environment including connections, gateways, and the streetscape. They wanted to create a sense of place capable of stimulating economic growth and building social equity. This project provided an assessment of the development area in terms of size, accessibility, condition, and related factors, a report on the recommended action plan or alternate plans for uses of the area in its component parcels, a potential implementation strategy, concept design or designs (layouts) of the area as it related to future land use, and a professional planning document that included data, analysis, and recommendations.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013

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  • 2013: City of Frankfort Beach Infrastructure Plan

    Authors: Troy Anderson, Clay Hagen, Michelle LeBlanc, Virginia Vander Veen, Michigan State University

    The primary goal was to create elements of a Beach Master Plan for the Lake Michigan Beach in Frankfort, including improvements to Cannon Park. The plan addressed parking, pedestrian flow, signage, structural improvements, restroom facility location, sand control, and aesthetics in order to enhance and expand the Frankfort experience and the city's already strong tourism industry.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013

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  • 2013: City of Flint: South Saginaw, I-69 Corridor Study

    Authors: Deja Torrence, Keshia Owens, Xiangyun Li, Russ Cotner, Michigan State University

    The City of Flint created Master Plan in over 50 years in 2013. By spring they developed the various plans that will feed into the Master Plan. The MSU student team conducted a corridor study of South Saginaw from Interstate 69 to Bristol Road, which included a strategy to enhance the quality of the South Saginaw Corridor; an inventory of all commercial parcels, adjacent infrastructure (open space, sidewalks, lighting, etc.), roads, bicycle paths and existing transit. They identified and provided conceptual design of the gateway and streetscape improvements along South Saginaw.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2013

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  • 2012: St. Martha's Commons Community Vision

    Authors: Lauren A. Chapman, Patrick D. Crawford, Michael R. French, Christopher T. Hughes, Yiming Li, Sharnese L Marshall, Melinda R. McIntosh, & Alexxa B. Young, Michigan State University

    The St. Martha's Episcopal Church Project was a community-based effort to redevelop and repurpose a 22,000 square foot church located at 15801 Joy Road in Detroit. The church is a part of a commons area anchored by a senior citizen housing complex known as the Village of St. Martha's and is owned by the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. The larger project area included a vacant Wayne County community college building, a vacant high school, the City of Detroit West Side Bus Terminal, a Michigan Department of Social Services building, Christ Child Society Boys Home, the Islamic Center of Detroit, and a vacant apartment building. The goal of the group was to redevelop the church for a health and wellness community center and to integrate the new use into a viable community plan for the overall area.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2012

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  • 2012: Cheboygan Port & Community Asset Inventory

    Authors: Andrew Baglini, Brad Beck, Shiraz Gillani, Priyamvada Kayal, Matt Lafferty, Graham Malott, & Eric Phillips, Michigan State University

    The short-term goal of this project was to provide the foundation for further development of existing ports by completing an inventory of port and community assets, as well as identifying opportunities and constraints, strategies for future activities, and opportunities for regional collaboration. Examples of inventoried assets included: land use, zoning, ownership, existing facilities, uses and ownership, ferry service, environmental issues (e.g. brownfields), commercial businesses, industrial businesses and others. The long-term goal was to expand opportunities for commerce and recreation at the port.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2012
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  • 2012: Beecher Neighborhood Stabilization Plan

    Authors: Austen T. Ayres, James E. Bonfiglio, Justin J. Dunn, Gentjan Heqimi, Ye Ji Kim, Hanbing Liang, Gino M. Piccirilli, & Raymond J. Whearley, Michigan State University

    This project focused on the creation of a land use plan for a currently vacant area. It also included an evaluation of all aspects and characteristics of the area to determine the best re-usage, whether development, future green space, or recreational area.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2012

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  • 2012: Alpena Port & Community Asset Inventory

    Authors: Marc Coburn, Tatsuya Fukishige, Evan Gross, Corey Jackson, Mark Jones, Elizabeth Masserang, Michigan State University

    The short-term goal of this project was to provide the foundation for further development of existing ports by completing an inventory of port and community assets, as well as identifying opportunities and constraints, strategies for future activities, and opportunities for regional collaboration. Examples of inventoried assets included: land use, zoning, ownership, existing facilities, uses and ownership, ferry service, environmental issues (e.g. brownfields), commercial businesses, industrial businesses and others. The long-term goal was to expand opportunities for commerce and recreation at the port.

    Project Updated As Of September 30th, 2012
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