Working with Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit, a Dow Fellows student team assessed how the social, economic, and environmental benefits have developed from Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO). CBO’s are tools that ensure that developers confirm the community benefits from a project to prevent harmful development and planning decisions. The team researched large-scale development projects and compared two projects from before and two from after the passage of Detroit’s CBO. They analyzed their data and determined recommendations are needed to improve the CBO process with additional resources being allocated to improve the quality of public participation.
In order to build a more sustainable and socially-just community, decisions regarding urban planning should engage diverse stakeholders. Working with the Eastside Community Network, a non-profit community development organization, a Dow Fellows student team co-designed a green infrastructure plan with community members along the Mack Avenue Business District. The team is utilizing Land.info, a three-dimensional urban design visualization software tool, to aid in designing community green space. The project focuses on empowering the community members through a series of workshops to learn how to use the visualization tool and co-design community space. They hope to use the software to provide a common language for collaborative designing and decision-making and hope the software can be expanded for use in other cases.
The struggle for environmental justice in California began decades ago and continues today. Environmental justice results from community level actions that build power and models; influence the political process and secure unprecedented legislation; and implement cutting-edge programs. Progress has not been easy. Many challenges had to be overcome, and political opposition has been consistent. The resources described in this compilation are the result of leadership from many communities, sometimes in collaboration with public agencies and sometimes in tension. There have been some significant successes at the local, regional and state-wide levels. However, much more is needed to address the many challenges related to environmental injustice and the climate crisis if we are to build truly equitable, healthy and sustainable communities for the 21st century.
The University of Michigan (U-M) Graham Institute Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program provides unique opportunities to expand and explore your interests in sustainability while engaging in leadership training. In addition to taking a nine-credit sequence of courses and participating in co-curricular activities, students can receive up to $4,000 to pursue a field-based sustainability experience. This fact sheet provides an overview of the program requirements and application process. Learn more about the U-M Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program.
Keywords: Sustainability scholars, interdisciplinary, sustainability leadership, field-based experiences, co-curricular activities
Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars Program Fact Sheet:
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a quiet, rural area where you can escape the busyness of urban cities. Population density is low in the Upper Peninsula (UP), making energy transmission costs high and causing electricity rates to be among the highest in the United States. In Baraga, 33.2% of residents live below the poverty line, and a reduction in electricity rates would make a significant difference to them.
Joan Iverson Nassauer, Natalie R. Sampson, Noah J. Webster, Margaret Dewar, Shawn McElmurry, G. Allen Burton Jr., & Catherine Riseng.
A summary of refereed literature that addresses social and environmental performance and governance of GSI, and results of NEW-GI’s analyses of the performance of bioretention garden pilot sites in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood. This report integrates assessments of water quality, stormwater flows, residents’ preferences, neighborhood well-being, and the maintenance characteristics of 18 different design alternatives for GSI on vacant property in residential neighborhoods.
The Graham Institute catalyzes and facilitates sustainability engagement and collaboration for University of Michigan faculty and students, across all academic units, working in partnership with external stakeholders. The Institute convenes interdisciplinary faculty and student teams to address local-to-global sustainability challenges.
College tuition rates are increasing every year, forcing many students to take out student loans. Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) is something every college student fills out, but not many truly understand how the process of student loan borrowing works. Michigan student loan default rates are higher than the national average, and women, especially women of color, are disproportionately affected by student debt. With a $5,000 seed grant from the Dow Distinguished Awards competition, a University of Michigan (U-M) student team is co-designing a solution with students to meet their loan literacy needs.