By Megan Masson-Minock, AICP
The Michigan Municipal League has contracted with Carlisle/Wortman Associates to help the city of Ferndale develop a food-based campus on vacant industrially-zoned land on the east side of the city. The study’s funds come from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Project specifications:
- Analyze the space and usage gaps/demand of Ferndale’s existing food-entrepreneur ecosystem;
- Provide recommendations for managing space usage and shared facility workflow;
- Develop a space and use plan for converting vacant land into a closed loop commercial food production and shared community composting facility with green infrastructure elements, and
- Provide additional expert recommendations rooted in green infrastructure principles for the overall buildout of the food-based campus.
In a closed-loop system, all waste is contained and re-used on a property. This project will explore building a biodigester on the site to convert food waste from a kitchen incubator on-site, downtown restaurants, and yard waste into methane, providing energy for the building.
- Complete a food innovation district assessment
- Do a market scan of food related businesses using ESRI data
- Facilitate meetings between city staff and industry leaders
- Interview local food entrepreneurs and businesses
- Research case studies, and
- Develop recommendations and a report.