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Collaborative Creation and Implementation of a Michigan Sustainability Case on Urban Farming in Detroit

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
December 31, 2018

The University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) seeks to transform sustainability learning through new curricular tools that incorporate multimedia sources, build both scientific and professional skills, and nurture partnerships with practitioners for extended engaged learning beyond the classroom. The Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSCs) bring case-based teaching to the sustainability field and redefine cases by making them more immersive and multimodal, for traction with diverse kinds of learners. MSCs are hosted on an open access, interactive platform called Gala that makes case studies accessible both for individual use and to enhance face-to-face experiential learning. This article analyzes one MSC case about urban farming in Detroit, Michigan, as it embodies principles of cocreation, integration into multiple curricula, and digital innovation for enhanced experiential learning. Specifically, we describe how it was collaboratively produced, deployed and iteratively improved in successive SEAS classrooms, incorporated field learning in Detroit for strong user experiences from students, but also for faculty and practitioners. We further note its impact on the lead author’s development projects within Detroit’s landscape, suggesting cases as catalysts for more ethical, efficient, and inclusive sustainability science and policy in practice.

Lauren Boone
Lizz Ultee
Ed Waisanen
Joshua A. Thorne
Rebecca Hardin
Research Areas
Urban Systems and Built Environment

collaboration, pedagogy, Michigan, urban farming, Detroit, SEAS, sustainability, Gala

Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation

Lauren Boone, Lizz Ultee, Ed Waisanen, Joshua P. Newell, Joshua A. Thorne, Rebecca Hardin; Collaborative Creation and Implementation of a Michigan Sustainability Case on Urban Farming in Detroit. Case Studies in the Environment 31 December 2018; 2 (1): 1–13. CSS18-37