‘Ever Green: Parks and Greenways’ earns MAP Outstanding Student Project Award

‘Ever Green: Parks and Greenways’ earns MAP Outstanding Student Project Award

The Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) has awarded a group of Master of Urban Planning alumni an Outstanding Student Project Award for a plan offering governance and institutional design alternatives to support Detroit’s parks and greenways.

Their plan, Ever Green: An Enduring System of Parks and Greenways in Detroit, was completed in April 2012 and has influenced the planning for parks and greenways in Detroit Future City, community-based initiatives, and the city’s administrative restructuring.

The former students are Eric Dennis, Isaac Gilman, Ting Ma, Amanda Peterson, Brent Schleck, Stephanie Simon, and Michael Vos. The students worked with representatives from two Detroit departments, Greening of Detroit, Detroit Parks Coalition, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Lower Eastside Action Plan, Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative, and Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to develop the plan.

The abstract of the plan reads as follows:
The City of Detroit cannot support the parks system that existed when the city had many more residents and businesses. Meanwhile, a greenways coalition has been planning and implementing the creation of greenways, with foundation support, but not necessarily in connection to parks enhancement and maintenance. Parks and greenways are vital for improving Detroit residents’ quality of life. Current administration of parks and greenways is fragmented and short of funds, but city, county, and state governments all face severe budget problems that mean they cannot reallocate funding to parks and greenways. This plan offers governance and institutional design alternatives that could help support a better parks and greenways system.

The former Master of Urban Planning students will be honored on October 8, 2014 at the MAP Annual Conference on Mackinac Island.