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Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums

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The City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor District Library hosted the sixth annual Sustainable Ann Arbor series this past winter. A think tank of local stakeholders, including community organizations, local government staff, and businesses joined over 230 members of the public to discuss local sustainability efforts and challenges in our community.  

​​​​​​2017

Grow Your Own -  The fourth and final Sustainable Ann Arbor forum focused on the topic of growing and preserving your own food. The moderator, Councilmember Jason Frenzel, kept the program lively and on track. Master Gardener Monica Milla shared how to plan your vegetable garden; her main points were that anyone can be a gardener and that you should grow what you like to eat. Sustainable landscaper Drew Lathin, talked about how working with nature by planting native plants can help one’s backyard become not only more beautiful but also a biologically-important piece of land. Biodynamic Beekeeper Caitlin Dickinson spoke about how she’s learned to become a beekeeper and how you can as well. And lastly, Emily Springfield shared tips and tricks about canning, dehydrating, freezing, and other food storage arts. 

  • Monica Milla, Master Gardener and Gardening Instructor for Washtenaw Community College
  • Drew Lathin, General Manager of Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC
  • Caitlin Dickinson, Biodynamic Beekeeper
  • Emily Springfield, Founder of Preserving Traditions

​Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum


Sustainable Kids - Our first kids-centered Forum included a make and take home craft, interactive environmental education presentations, and storytelling from a professional story teller. Over 75 children and adults attended March’s Sustainability Forum on “Sustainable Kids”. The evening opened with 15 of Jeannine Palm’s kids acting out the amazing story of how they’ve built wet meadows near their school. MacKenzie Maxwell of the Leslie Science Center then ran a module about frogs, including a live demo with a toad. And the end of the evening was topped off with Laura Raynor, a professional storyteller with the Ann Arbor District Library, who acted out a book for the kids, and then led the kids in making crafts at three craft tables. 

  • Jeannine Palms, Teacher/Director of Blossom Home Preschool & Adventures
  • MacKenzie Maxwell, School and Scout Program Manager for the Leslie Science Center
  • Katy Adams, Education Director for the Ecology Center
  • Laura Raynor, Youth Librarian for the AADL

(No video recorded as per AADL's policy of not filming minors without parental consent.)


Driverless Vehicles Coming Down the Pike -  We heard from state and national experts about the coming "driverless" vehicle revolution and what it will mean for the Ann Arbor region. Five high-powered presenters spoke about the upcoming “driverless car” revolution. The Director of the MI DOT, Kirk Steudle, spoke about the impact of four recent bills to pass the state legislature, all designed to ease unneeded regulatory burdens on the researchers and car manufacturers who want to test and deploy connected and automated vehicle technology on MI roads. Mr. Steudle is a leading DPT Director nationally. The Moderator of the evening, Laurel Champion (COO) and the CEO of the American Center for Mobility, John Maddox, both spoke about the history of the Willow Run site and how ACM plans to reimagine the site as a world-class automated and connected vehicle-testing center. Dr. Huang Peng, Director of the UM’s Mobility Transformation Center, gave a great overview of the M-City testing site and the other MTC vehicle testing projects using the streets of Ann Arbor as a living laboratory. Frank Sgambati of Robert Bosch, LLC, gave an industry perspective of what automated and connected technology is in the development pipeline now and will be on the streets soon. Perhaps the biggest take-away of the evening, though, was that the primary reason people are working on these projects is to save a great number of the 35,000 people who die on our country’s streets and highway each year.

  • Dr. Huei Peng, Director of U-M Mobility Transformation Center
  • Kirk Steudle, Director of MI Department of Transportation
  • John Maddox or Laurel Champion, American Center for Mobility
  • Frank Sgambati, Director of Marketing and Product Innovation, North America at Robert Bosch LLC

Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum


Green your Home DIY - On January 12th, the City kicked off its sixth year of Sustainability Forums at the downtown library. Councilmember Chip Smith recommended the topic of “Green Your Home DIY” and served as the evening’s moderator. Eighty-one attendees were given do-it-yourself (and hire-a-pro) tips on installing solar as part of the City’s group buy project; how to build a rain garden; how to weatherize their homes; and how to get started growing their own food. Presenters included: David Levine, CEO of Geostellar; Aaron Kraft, Housing Programs Supervisor for Washtenaw County; Roger Moon, Master Rain Gardener, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office; and Amanda Edmonds, Ypsilanti Mayor & Founder and Executive Director of Growing Hope.

  • David Levine, Founder/CEO of Geostellar
  • Aaron Kraft, Housing Programs Supervisor for Washtenaw County
  • Roger Moon, Master Rain Gardener, Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office)
  • Amanda Edmonds, Ypsilanti Mayor and Founder/Executive Director of Growing Hope

​​Visit AADL's website to watch a comple​te recording of the forum​


2016

Climate and Energy, included updates on Ann Arbor’s Climate Action Plan, an overview of local climate impacts, and sustainable programs underway at the University of Michigan. 

  • Mike Garfield, Executive Director, Ecology Center
  • Anya Dale, Sustainability Rep, University of Michigan
  • Sean Reed, Executive Director, Clean Energy Coalition
  • Wayne Appleyard, Chair, Ann Arbor Energy Commission
  • Nathan Geisler, Energy Programs Analyst, City of Ann Arbor

​​Visit AADL's website to watch a comple​te recording of the forum​


Resource Management, included discussions about improving Ann Arbor's waste diversion rate and community wide efforts to reduce different waste streams.

  • Roger Bowser, Managing Partner, Zingerman's
  • Eileen Spring, President and CEO, Food Gatherers
  • Noelle Bowman, Solid Waste Specialist, Washtenaw County
  • Tracy Artley, Sustainability Programs Coordinator, U-M Plant Building & Grounds Services
  • Matt Naud, Environmental Coordinator, City of Ann Arbor

​​Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum


Land Use and Access, included discussions about regional transit, sustainability planning in transportation systems, and Ann Arbor's latest bicycle and pedestrian projects.
  • Matt Carpenter, CEO of TheRide
  • Michael Ford, CEO of the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority 
  • Eli Cooper, Ann Arbor Transportation Program Manager
  • Sean Reed, Executive Director of Clean Energy Coalition (ArborBike)
  • Chris Taylor​, Mayor of Ann Arbor, Moderator​  ​


Looking to the Future: Ann Arbor in 2025, included conversations about local challenges and solutions on Ann Arbor's path to a more sustainable future. ​
  • Josie Parker, Director of the Ann Arbor Library 
  • Sue Zielinski, from UMTRI/SMART 
  • Xuan Liu, Manager of Research, SEMCOG
  • Susan Pollay, Executive Director, Ann Arbor​ Downtown Development Authority
  • Teresa Gillotti, Washtenaw County Department of Community and Economic Development
Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum


​2015

Sustainable Buildings, including a discussion of how to increase efficiency of both new and existing building and projects underway in the community

Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum

Economic Vitality, including current economic development projects, community investment, and business development

Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum

Sustainable Systems, including an overview of city wet weather projects and community-led solutions to increased precipitation

Visit AADL's website to watch a complete recording of the forum

Responsible Resou​rce Use, including an overview of waste, compost, and recycling across the community

Due to a tornado warning at this forum, speakers were unable to give their presentations in full. Below are links to the presentations for each of the speakers. 


2014​

Equity in Planning

Visit AADL's website to watch the complete recording of the forum

Or view individual presentations from the Equity in Planning forum

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Healthy Ecosystems​

Visit AADL's website to watch the complete recording of the forum

Or view individual presentations from the Healthy Ecosystems forum

 

Climate and Adaptation

Visit AADL's​ website to watch the complete recording of the forum

Or view individual presentations from the Climate and Adaptation forum
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Local Food

Visit AADL's website to watch the complete recording of the forum

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Sustainable Systems

Powerpoint Presentations (pdf - 9MB)

How to Get Involved Handout (PDF​​)

Visit AADL's website to watch the Sustainable Systems Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations

Economic Vitality​

Powerpoint Presentations (6 MB PDF)

Visit AADL's website to watch the Economic Vitality Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations

Diverse Housing

Powerpoint Presentations (pdf - 9MB)

Visit AADL's website to watch the Diverse Housing Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations

Transportation Options

Powerpoint Presentations (pdf -12MB)

Visit AADL's website to watch the Transportation Options Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations


2012

Resource Management​

Download a pdf of the resource management presentations here

Visit the AADL's website to watch the Resource Management Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations

Land Use and Access

Download a pdf of the land use and access presentations here

Visit the AADL's website to watch the Land Use and Access Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations

Climate and Energy

Download a pdf of the climate and energy presentations here!

Visit the AADL's website to watch the Climate and Energy Forum 

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations

Community
 

Download a pdf of the community presentations here

Visit the AADL's website to watch the Community Forum

Or visit the Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums video page to view individual presentations


​Emily Drennen
Sustainability Associate
edrennen@a2gov.org​
734.794.6430 x43726