CWA will help Ferndale plan a food-based campus

By Megan Masson-Minock, AICP

American Biogas Council

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.

CWA will

  • 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.

In addition to Carlisle|Wortman, Living Lab of Detroit will plan the site and green infrastructure and Drought Solutions will advise on the commercial kitchen layout and interior design.

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