News from across Turtle Island

  • Study: Kent County Land Bank generates $42.9 million economic impact in four years

    737 Madison Ave. SE in Grand Rapids after a renovation to historic standards. Photo by the Kent County Land Bank Authority.

    Posted on April 25, 2017 4:34pm

    Over the last four years, the Kent County Land Bank Authority (KCLBA) generated $42.9 million in estimated economic impact and 266 jobs in Kent County, according to an economic impact analysis by the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute released today.

    “Our analysis demonstrates the Land Bank Authority’s critical role in supporting economic growth and development in Kent County,” said Mark Wyckoff, Interim Director at the MSU Land Policy Institute. “In addition to reducing blight and bringing dilapidated properties back to productive use, this study shows the land bank fills a critical gap in neighborhood restoration and economic development.”

  • SPDC hosted two Grandparents University Courses in June

    Grandchild and grandparent designing their own stadium during the Secrets of the Olympics course.

    Posted on August 15, 2017 12:02pm

    Grandparents University at Michigan State University is a three-day educational experience that takes place at the end of June, where grandparents and grandchildren (ages 8–12) can live the college life of wondering on the MSU campus. . . The goal of the program is to let families experience the beauty and science within design, while creating memories together on MSU campus. Faculty, students and alumni from the School of Planning, Design and Construction hosted two courses: 1) Extreme Makeover: Dorm Room Edition, and 2) Secrets of the Olympics.

  • 2017 American Floral Endowment Awards

    Melissa Eggleston (left) and Anthony Soster (right) are recipients of AFE scholarships

    Posted on July 27, 2017 9:41am

    The American Floral Endowment has awarded two MSU horticulture students scholarships, each receiving $2,200 and $3,200 respectively.

  • AFRE Department has a new brochure

    Cover of AFRE's brochure

    Posted on July 27, 2017 9:06am

    AFRE is a leading department in agricultural and applied economics with Graduate and Undergraduate Programs.

    See what we offer!



  • The Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Recognizes MSU AFRE’s Excellence

    AAEA 2017 Annual Meeting Seal

    Posted on July 18, 2017 8:48pm

    The Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the world’s leading professional association for this field of study, and AFRE faculty and students are major contributors to the Association. This year has been particularly outstanding for AFRE with several AAEA recognitions of our faculty achievements.

  • NCI’s new online course expands reach of traditional Charrette System training

    Person typing on computer keyboard.

    Posted on July 18, 2017 11:41am

    Are you interested in the NCI Charrette System certificate training, but don’t have time in your busy schedule to attend an in-person event? Then, maybe the MSU National Charrette Institute’s online course is a better fit for you.

    Launched in May, this non-credit course, provides the same in-depth working knowledge of the NCI Charrette System with an emphasis on design thinking as if you were attending the training in-person. It also offers advanced collaborative innovation processes.

  • Connecting blighted Great Lakes cities to boost economy

    Recycled doors from Materials Unlimited in Detroit. Photo by Lucy Schroeder.

    Posted on July 14, 2017 3:36pm

    The Great Lakes connect many blighted cities in a network that could supply recycled building materials.That’s just one of the ways that domicology could spur the region’s economic development, according to a recent report by the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development and the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission.

    Construction Management’s George Berghorn is quoted in this article.

  • Once a hub for building cities, Muskegon could become one for taking them apart

    Port of Muskegon from the air. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

    Posted on July 13, 2017 3:04pm

    Muskegon once was called the “Lumber Queen of the World.”  It has been called “the Port City” and the “Riviera of the Midwest.” Now, city officials hope to add “Deconstruction Hub of the Great Lakes” to the city’s titles. In the mid-1880s, the peak of the lumbering era, Muskegon was a bustling hub for processing logs into timber shipped across the Great Lakes region. Chicago was rebuilt after the fire of 1871 with timber from Muskegon. Advocates of the city’s port would like to see some of that timber come back. That could happen if Muskegon became a hub for deconstructing some of those same cities it helped build.

    Urban & Regional Planning’s Rex Lamore is quoted in this article.

  • Recycling your home: Can structural wood be reused for the same purpose?

    Cross-laminated timber products show the alternating directions in the layers of wood. Photo by Structurlam.

    Posted on July 12, 2017 2:21pm

    You may recycle in your home, but did you know the building itself can be recycled? A group of researchers at Michigan State University studying the science of domicology—the term they use to describe the policies, practices and consequences of abandoned structures—are examining how wood from abandoned buildings can be reused. The average Michigan home holds about 6,000 board feet of lumber, enough to fill two school buses, according to George Berghorn, assistant professor of construction management at Michigan State University. And there are 244,000 abandoned homes in Michigan.

    Construction Management’s George Berghorn is quoted in this article.

  • Reclaim Detroit finds treasure in blighted homes

    Iron roof cresting from Detroit City Hall that Materials Unlimited is restoring. Photo by Lucy Schroeder.

    Posted on July 11, 2017 1:21pm

    Sometimes deconstruction can yield surprising finds—like human body parts. Workers with Reclaim Detroit, a nonprofit deconstruction organization, once saw a human arm among the other trash in the basement of a blighted house. At first, they thought there was a body in the house, said Jeremy Haines, executive director of Reclaim Detroit. On closer inspection, workers realized it was just a mannequin. Fake body parts aside, the house the organization was taking apart was one among many abandoned houses in Detroit. According to a U.S. Census five-year estimate, over 183,000 homes in Detroit are vacant—making up 75 percent of the vacant houses in Michigan.

    • Construction Management’s George Berghorn is quoted in this article.

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