Published: 03/17/2022

/ Faculty Projects

(M-NEX): Engaging Circular Systems, the Food, Energy, Water (FEW) Nexus and Urban Accessibility: Detroit, 2022

M_NEX comprises a research and design framework that evaluates the Food Energy Water (FEW) Nexus across scales from Region (Great Lakes Megaregion), to State (Michigan), to the City of Detroit to illuminate issues of equity and access across FEW domains while aiming to leverage circular systems towards more just and sustainable urban futures. Working with existing stakeholders across four urban development sites in Detroit, the project illustrates strategies to enhance circular systems, reduce waste flows and evaluates proposals based on C02e per capita in the resulting schema. Models include: Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, a 6-acre urban farm and cultural incubation space surrounded by medium and low-density housing prototypes; Eastern Market, an intensive ‘food innovation hub’ coupling high-density housing with mixed-use food and market-related programs; Recovery Park, an industrial scaled urban farming campus providing housing for urban agricultural workers in recovery and mediating agricultural functions with green-blue public space models; and Riverbend, a super-block scaled collective farming cooperative that produces new formats of public interface at its perimeter. Quantification of systemic impacts is presented alongside visualizations of resulting building and public space typologies, engineering components, and new formats of public space that surface and center FEW circular systems as a means towards more sustainable and livable models of urbanism. Lessons from the Detroit experience offer portable strategies for post-industrial cities and urban centers where issues of equity and access to food systems are pressurized. Work to be presented has been supported by The Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative (SUGI)/Food-Water-Energy Nexus jointly established by the Belmont Forum and Urban Europe funded by the US NSF.

URBAN DESIGN TEAM: Prof. Kathy Velikov, Tithi Sanyal, Andrew Kremers, Jiushuai Zhang, Linda Lee, Lucas Denit, Chia-Wei Chanm, Shihua Chen, Owolabi, Ifeoluwa, Wang,Yuli

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Ms. Jerry Hebron, Mr. Gary Wozniak

FACULTY RESEARCH ADVISORS: Dr. Ming Xu (Co-PI), Prof. Anya Sirota, Jean Louis Farges, Prof. Maria Arquero, Dr. Glenn Diagger, Prof. Marc Norman, Dr. Lesli Hoey, Dr. Greg Keoleian

PROJECT FUNDING: National Science Foundation # 1832214


Geoffrey Thün Kathy Velikov

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