EDA University Center for
Regional Economic Innovation

Current Projects

Co-Learning Plans | Co-Implementation Plans | Student-Led Projects

2019 Co-Learning Plans Link

  • Energy Co-op Broadband Networks: Connecting Rural Americans to 21st Century Economic Opportunity Link

    Mitchell Shapiro, MSU Quello Center

    This project will help RECs, rural stakeholders and policymakers evaluate options and develop strategies that help Michigan and other states expand rural broadband availability, adoption, usage and benefits in ways that support strong and economically healthy rural communities. It will do so by developing and disseminating information, analysis and recommendations regarding: The factors impacting whether an REC can develop a viable broadband business, including contextual factors and strategic options; 1. Successful strategies employed and lessons learned by RECs and their partners for leveraging broadband networks to support community and economic development in REC service areas; 2. The number of homes and businesses that could be impacted if RECs expanded their investment in broadband networks, the potential financial magnitude of that investment, and existing and potential sources of capital to support it; 3. How 1-3 above have applied and could apply specifically to Michigan.

  • Marrying Community Benefits and Development Practice Link

    Sam Butler, Doing Development Differently in Detroit (D4)

    After exhaustive study and evaluation, D4 has concluded that in order for community benefits to be effective in Michigan, they need to be embedded early in the development process. But how to effect these policies without driving away private investment remains a key question. Building from previous preliminary research, D4's Co Learning Plan will develop detailed recommendations for how to insert community benefit provisions into standard development processes, including sample ordinance language.

  • City of Adrian Opportunity Zone Development Link

    Mary ZumBrunnen and Chris Miller, City of Adrian

    This Co-Learning proposal focuses on developing best practices for a small Opportunity Zone within the City of Adrian concentrating on fund development and attraction. Within an Opportunity Zone, investors may receive capital gains relief in low-income census tracts of distressed communities. As such, historical and current barriers to investment must be overcome with best practices unique to their region identified. Working with a host of national, state and local partners, the City will create and disseminate a resource toolkit for small cities identified for this type of social investment.

  • Translating Smart City Manager Knowledge Link

    John Monberg, MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures

    I will work with students to create a usable humanities frameworks for city managers grappling with the consequences of new Smart City initiatives by drawing upon sophisticated humanities perspectives for understanding issues of agency, representation, deliberation and equity.

  • Integration of online market place and Main Street in Michigan communities: Drivers, impacts, and policy implications Link

    Peilei Fan, MSU Urban Planning

    This proposal is to examine how online market place and Main Street can be best synergized for Michigan communities. The research questions are: (1) How have local business integrated e-commerce and reaped benefits of such integration? How have the built environment been transformed, either through a change in function for main street stores or the growth of fulfillment centers and logistics operations? (2) What are the key drivers and barriers that have affected the realizations of these benefits? What strategies may increase the integration? (3)What are the implications of exogenous factors, such as globalization, trade regime change, and tax regulations?

  • Pathways for Lifecycle Building Practices: Material Reuse in Tiny Home Construction Link

    Michael Moreno-Beals and Nathaniel Hooper, Private Consultants

    The first topic of this proposal is to examine the feasibility of using Tiny Houses as a means to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient housing. This will entail an analysis of the real and perceived barriers to utilizing Tiny Houses to meet a communities affordable housing needs, from the perception of key stakeholders and those most affected by the issue. The second topic of this proposal will be to create a lifecycle plan of a Tiny House to examine the cost benefit and environmental impact of using conventional methods compared to reused materials; highlighting opportunities and challenges facing developers interested in using salvaged and recycled materials in this capacity.

2019 Co-Implementation Plans Link

  • Community and Resident Social Investment Strategies for Economic Development Link

    Norman Christopher, Private Consultant

    This proposed innovation project will build upon the previous MSU REI student led research project, but also explore other viable social impact and social entrepreneurship community investment strategies that are now available such as Charitable Loan Funds, Social REITS, and Opportunity Zones etc. As many statewide case studies as possible will be used on a best efforts basis so that other Michigan cities, communities, and neighborhoods can collectively learn what type of social impact investment strategy would work best in their community. A standardized approach will be used to evaluate each social impact investment strategy for potential use. This social impact investment "guidebook or toolkit" will be of help and assistance to foundations and other grant making institutions, community residents, philanthropic donors, social NGOs, as well as local communities and neighborhoods as they seek to increase economic development activities and address specific social impact areas of concern, such as affordable housing. This project will be considered as a "work in progress."

2018 Student-Led, Faculty-Guided ProjectsLink