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AM Breakout Sessions

AM Breakout Sessions


Hillberry A - Breakout Room

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Session Title: Roof Top Oasis -

a Transformation

for Health & Wellness

An unused rooftop deck adjacent to an existing patient unit, needed a refurbishment to be useable for recreation and use. This fabulous transformation included a total refurbishment to bring an inspiring nature experience close to where it could be enjoyed. The roof top planting beds and patio furniture provide an area of respite for health and wellness. The summer gardens provide active entertainment for the patients, and provide greenery AND butterflies. It has been an amazing transformation and experiential revolution for patients, staff and visiting families. Bringing a positive nature experience to patients who cannot leave the unit for this experience.

Julie Lyons Bricker.jfif

Session Title: Lessons Learned in Municipal Sustainability Work

Local governments can play an essential role in paving the path toward and implementing sustainability and net-zero carbon emissions initiatives, but navigating this work isn't always easy. This presentation will offer tips on how cities can get started on their sustainability and climate action journey. The City of Royal Oak will lean on its recent experience to provide ideas and lessons learned for developing a community-wide greenhouse gas inventory and sustainability and climate action plan.

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Session Title: Improving Community Resiliency through Resilience Hub Networks

Improving the accessibility of resilience resources for vulnerable individuals requires that we meet them where they are at. Resilience hubs are respected and trusted community spaces where residents can go in normal times for health and wellness but also, due to solar and storage, in times of emergencies for access to supplies, power, cooling or heating, or camaraderie. The City of Detroit is building its first resilient Rec Center, the Lenox Rec Center while Eastside Community Network is rehabilitating the Stoudamire into a resilience hub. We are also partnering with community based orgs, such as Brilliant Detroit to develop a network of resiliency hubs on the lower east side of Detroit. Coordinated emergency planning will enable these hubs to work together collectively and deliver the resources needed to the most vulnerable residents. For more details check out the 'Resilient Eastside Initiative' session during the afternoon breakout sessions.

Hillberry B - Breakout Room

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Session Title: Detroit Recycles

An overview of the recycling services the city provides, and our goals for the program as they move forward. The brief presentation will also allow for time for discussion about how the city should prioritize certain aspects of our initiative and gain feedback on what the audience would like to see.

Christopher Heine.jfif

Session Title: Talkin’ Trash – Solving the Challenges of Waste Diversion in Commercial Tenant Spaces

The popularity and efficiency of composting and residential recycling programs in the State of Michigan have led to record high waste diversion rates across the state. However, when it comes to adopting these practices in the workplace, added costs, apathy and a lack of coordination between building owners and tenants has left a gap for those who wish to responsibly dispose of waste.


Two of Detroit’s leading architecture and engineering firms recently embarked on parallel paths of solving the challenges of waste diversion in commercial office buildings in the City. Using case studies from Gensler and SmithGroup, we will expose the barriers and challenges of coordinating recycling and composting programs in an office environment, while sharing lessons learned on bringing together owners, tenants, and building managers to realize the co-benefits of a multi-faceted waste diversion strategy

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Session Title: Resilient Eastside Initiative

This presentation will highlight the Live, Learn, and Love community engagement project in the Goodstock neighborhood on the eastside of Detroit. This project is run by What About Us, Inc. and was started as part of the LEAP Sustainability Fellowship and seeks to build community sustainability, share resources, and provide a space for people to come together. The core values are dignity, integrity, commitment, respect, accountability, family, and love. At the Live, Learn, Love space, we have transformed 5 vacant lots into a vegetable and flower garden, community gathering space, and recreation area featuring horseshoes and putt putt golf. We are also building a neighborhood resource hub on one of the lots that will provide tutoring, GED training, and health programming. This presentation will focus on the importance of engagement, working together, and building relationships to promote both social and environmental wellbeing in our communities.

Ballroom - Breakout Room

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Session Title: Detroit Recycles

The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Visitor Center and Administration Building prove that prioritizing building energy performance does not require the sacrifice of architectural design excellence. Through careful coordination, the SmithGroup architecture and engineering teams were able to tackle this cultural design challenge through a holistic and integrated approach.


The Administration Building is designed to be net zero energy to prepare for future generations and honor the Fords’ vision of enhancing and sustaining the environment. Sloped gables and mansard roofs conceal photovoltaic arrays, and solar panels, natural ventilation, automatic blinds, geothermal, and other sustainable strategies allow the administration building to achieve net zero energy.


While focusing on connecting the past with the future, the project team designed the net zero energy Administration Building to be future-focused and honor the Fords’ vision of enhancing and sustaining the environment.


Session Title: Cultivating Connections in the Goodstock Community

The Little Detroit Community Garden is a safe outdoor place to meet and greet, a place to sow and grow, a place to experience the beauty in our community. Our main purpose is to educate and cultivate the minds of all community members. Together, we have built multiple gardens, including flowers, vegetables, and stormwater management, as well as an outdoor community meeting space and gazebo. This presentation will focus on the development of this project and highlight lessons learned and surprises along the way. The presentation will also offer reflections on the importance of building relationships and creating safe, beautiful spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. What started as a project for the LEAP Sustainability Fellowship, has evolved into something much bigger, as a space to connect across communities and generations while beautifying and nourishing Detroit's Goodstock neighborhood.

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Session Title: Detroit Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

The Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) Committee of the Detroit Green Task has been actively leading efforts to pass an energy and water benchmarking and transparency ordinance in Detroit, which is a policy that requires a commercial building owner to report their building’s energy (and water) consumption annually to the local government. This policy is the foundation for future building performance policies in Detroit because it will provide baseline information about how buildings are performing and help establish effective programs to increase energy efficiency improvements in commercial and multifamily buildings. With this consistent and relevant market information on building energy and water performance, tenants, renters, occupants, and investors can make informed decisions. More efficient buildings mean owners and tenants can save money, businesses can reduce operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, and pollution that threatens our air and climate is reduced.

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