Michigan Green Communities (2012)

Client Organization: 
U.S. Department of Energy
Project Location : 
Summary of Project Idea: 

Michigan Green Communities (MGC) is the largest statewide network within the Midwest Regional Sustainability Network (MRSN). MGC currently has the support of over 80 local governments and universities. A project group of five graduate students at the University of Michigan has worked along with MGC to strengthen the network by providing cities with the tools necessary to increase their environmental and economic sustainability. The three major focus areas of the project are:

1. To engage in outreach to strengthen the central mechanism for cities within the MGC network by creating a geographic user-defined interface to highlight projects occurring state-wide and encouraging collaboration through 3 regional workshops in Traverse City, Muskegon, and Detroit.

2. To assess electricity consumption within a case study city (Wyandotte, MI) and provide a framework for cities in the MGC network to evaluate how their energy consumption is impacting their local economies.

3. To promote state and local policies that address sustainability through the development and maintenance of the Michigan Green Communities Challenge.

Skills/Expertise Needed: 

Sustainability metrics, municipal government policy, community outreach, life cycle assessment, energy and carbon accounting, finance, negotiation and coalition building, urban planning.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Environmental Policy and Planning
Sustainable Systems
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

Broadly, the ability to identify opportunities for local governments to improve their sustainability in a financially, socially, and politically viable way.  Outreach, coalition building and negotiation will likely be key to success - along with careful analysis and communication of project benefits.  You will connect with people in Michigan doing similar work, and others around the country engaged in similar efforts - all through the U.S. D.O.E.

Identify expected products/deliverables: 

A plan and the first concrete steps towards the development of the Michigan Sustainable Cities Network.

Ann Arbor
State or Country: 
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Josh Newell
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Seth Federspiel, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Antonia Chan, MS/MBA, Sustainable Systems
  • Andrew Fang, MS, Sustainable Systems
  • Courtney Lee, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • William Bunker, MS, Environmental Policy and Planning
Project Status: 
Past Project