Published: 2014

/ Student Work

Envision Willow Run


Willow Run embodies a rich industrial legacy that gave the region global relevance in the 1940s. The construction of the Ford Bomber Plant, which produced B-24 bombers during World War II, triggered the transformation of this rural setting into a wonderland of infrastructural and technological power. The economic activity generated by the plant was a catalyst for all other development in the area, including the Willow Run Airport, highways, and surrounding modest neighborhoods that grew in the shadow of the giant plant. Ford, Kaiser-Frazer, and more recently the General Motors’ (GM) Powertrain Division operated the plant successfully for many years. In 2009, GM went bankrupt, leaving the plant vacant and the future of the area uncertain. Section One in this document defines the project through the collection of data on the rich history and current conditions of the Willow Run site. Section Two presents the rationale for the scenario approach, and develops three different proposals for the site.


Julie Cprek, Leigh Davis, Cole Gehler, Chaerin Jin, Steve Luongo, Rashmi Ravindran, Qi Shen, Lily Dewi Mulyadi Tan, Nadim Van der Fliert, Tianzhe Wang, Wen Zhong.


María Arquero de Alarcón, Paul Fontaine.


  • Community Partner: Ann Arbor SPARK
  • MECC Participating University of Michigan Units: College of Engineering, Ford School of Public Policy, and School of Public Health.
  • Location: Willow Run, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, Michigan
  • Pages: 373
  • Year: 2013
  • Topic: Industrial Legacy and Reuse, Environment + Land Use, Scenario Planning

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