Skip to main content

Co-Designing Resilience: Community-Directed Green Infrastructure Design Using 3D-Interactive Visualization

Co-Designing Resilience: Community-Directed Green Infrastructure Design Using 3D-Interactive Visualization

Program: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program
Program details » | All Dow Sustainability Fellows Program projects »

Project Photo

Spotlight on Greenspace Redevelopment

Team Photo

Working with Eastside Community Network, a Dow Fellows team employed a 3D urban design visualization software program developed at U-M, called, to engage community members in the planning process for their first neighborhood greenspace redevelopment project. Through a series of workshops, the team met with Mack Avenue community members and used to ensure the community’s preferences were reflected in the green space design. “Overall, we loved it,” said a  workshop participant. “We are so glad that we were able to have input before decisions about our community were made.”

“Community members appreciated providing input on their infrastructure. Our software allowed them to design their own community spaces... while understanding the cost.”

(Dow Fellows Program 2018)

3D Visualization Software Improvement for Co-designing Community Open Space

Engaging community members in co-designing for sustainability is critical if we hope to overcome ecological, economic, and social challenges, and ensure a sustainable and vibrant future for our communities. Well informed stakeholders, engaged in resilient decision making, are critical to creating place-based sustainability design of open spaces. This Dow Sustainability Fellows project aims to address barriers to citizen engagement by conducting a participatory design project informed by an interactive three dimensional (3-D) landscape design tool.

Our multidisciplinary team will conduct site-scale data collection, 3-D visualization, and facilitate participatory design sessions to co-design an open-space and affordable housing project within target communities of Ann Arbor and Detroit. Once this process is completed, our team will offer economic and policy assessment of the impact that our participatory design project will have for the stakeholders involved with the project.  For the clients we have currently shortlisted, the potential projects will include design for open space planning and/or affordable housing development initiatives.

The team is assessing how to address open-space and community planning goals. Going forward, we will work to facilitate the participatory community engagement using the 3-D landscape visualization tool. Later, through collecting site-scale data and co-creating a design of a site (or several) with community members, we will provide a suite of sustainable design and affordable housing options that meet community needs. Our work will outline a roadmap to implementation of the community-driven designs.

  • Team members:
    Kidus Admassu, Master of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Ayush Awadhiya, Master of Business Administration; Gwen Gell, Master of Urban Planning & Master of Urban Design; Saebom (April) Kwon, Master of Science of Information; and Shannon Sylte, Master of Landscape Architecture. Faculty Advisors: Mark Lindquist, Assistant Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability; and Robert Goodspeed, Assistant Professor, Taubman College, Urban and Regional Planning
  • Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

Keywords: Green Infrastructure, Dow Fellows Program, Co-design, Detroit, Land.Info, environmental design, environmental sensing, stormwater drainage, air quality