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Urban Planning Capstone Receives Ford Motor Company Challenge Award for Project in Santa Marta, Brazil

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Urban Planning Capstone Receives Ford Motor Company Challenge Award for Project in Santa Marta, Brazil

A 2015 Urban Planning capstone cohort, led by Assistant Professor Ana Paula Pimentel Walker and doctoral candidate Joshua Shake, has been selected as a Ford Motor Company College Community Challenge winner. The project, “Together We Make Santa Marta Home” focuses on fostering community ownership and environmental stewardship in Vila Santa Marta, Brazil. The $25,000 award has been granted to implement some of the recommendations from the capstone project.

The U-M team visited Santa Marta in March 2015 to gather information on the city’s host of environmental challenges. While visiting, the capstone team established a relationship with community partners including Santa Marta K-9 Municipal School, the São Leopoldo Municipal Government, and the Santa Marta Neighborhood Association. Focusing specifically on reducing trash dumping in public places, the U-M students proposed six goals: deterring dumping, increasing communication between local government and the residents of Santa Marta, building community pride and visibility, improving security, controlling flooding, and developing strategies for requesting service upgrades to Santa Marta’s streets, sewage and infrastructure.

Based on their efforts throughout the trip, the team came up with several recommendations to foster environmental stewardship and improve communication between local government and the community. Additionally, the team made planning recommendations for the upgrading of key streets and storm water features.

Graduate students Alexandro Bazan, Samantha Farr, Stephanie Gerretsen, Mabel Kessler, Julia Mantey, Alexandra Markiewicz, Shirley Rempe, Kelly Richardson, Charlotte Wilson and Julia Upfal collaborated on the capstone.

The Ford College Community Challenge challenges students to partner with organizations in their communities to design innovative projects that address vital community needs, particularly focusing on building sustainable communities. The Ford College Community Challenge was founded in 2008, and has awarded $1.7 million to student-led projects to date.

To view the capstone proposal, visit: https://taubmancollege.umich.edu/urbanplanning/students/student-work/master-urban-planning/together-we-make-santa-marta-home