Sustainable Redevelopment of a Post-Industrial Brownfield Site: A Case Study in the Nation's “Vehicle City," Flint, Michigan (07)

Client Organization: 
Genesee Institute & Genesee County Land Bank
Project Location : 
Flint, Michigan
Summary of Project Idea: 

This project was the 2007 winner of the International Federation of Landscape Architects student design prize.

Our project addresses social, economic, and ecological factors on a site in downtown Flint, along the banks of the channelized Flint River, where 127 acres of contaminated vacant lots perpetuate a dead zone at the heart of a formerly vibrant city. Through an iterative ecological design process and participation with stakeholders from the Flint community, we develop alternative futures for mixed-use redevelopment of this land. We will communicate these futures in a highly illustrated and accessible document that will encourage policymakers and citizens to understand new possibilities for the site, helping to catalyze the rejuvenation of downtown Flint and similar abandoned industrial corridors. Our research focuses on ecological restoration of the Flint River, connecting open space and habitat nodes, brownfield remediation, sustainable stormwater management, and mixed-use redevelopment. Innovative approaches to design include the use of alternative futures to guide brownfield redevelopment as well as the application of Low Impact Development practices on a contaminated site.

SNRE Faculty Advisor: 
Joan Nassauer
Master Students Involved in Project: 

Jennifer Dowdell, MLA

Dave Laclergue, MLA

Emily Marshall, MLA

Rebekah VanWieren, MLA/MS

Project Status: 
Past Project