State Outreach

michael rein Michael Rein

Associate Director of State Outreach

Michael Rein currently serves the eastern region of the State of Michigan, including Detroit, as an outreach representative within the Office of the Vice President for Government Relations.

Michael has over 30 years of developing strong working relationships with community, business and government leaders. As a former partner in a successful architectural/planning firm, he has extensive experience in managing and developing programs and partnerships.

Michael has been involved with several business advocacy groups such as Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce and the Washtenaw Economic Club as well as serving as a board member for such non-profits as the Washtenaw Community College Foundation, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Arbor Hospice and Washtenaw 100.

Michael has extensive experience in business, academics and research at U-M; he can be reached at 734.764.8029

State Outreach manages:

Michael's Areas of Outreach

East side of state including Detroit, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland.
Below, some examples:

UM’s IRLEE awarded Department of Defense grant to assist defense manufacturers in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

Ann Arbor - UM’s Institute for Research on the Labor, Employment and the Economy (IRLEE) is leading a consortium of three Midwestern universities to provide assistance to communities and to small and medium sized defense manufacturing companies in their respective geographic regions. The Defense Manufacturing Program (DMAP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment initiative to assist states and communities that have been significantly impacted by reductions or cancellations in DoD spending. Read Article

Mt. Elliott Employment District Project

On April 23rd, 2014, thirteen (13) UM Urban Planning students from the Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning presented their project, "Forging a Future: Recommendations for Strengthening Detroit’s Mt. Elliott Employment District" to an interested audience at the headquarters of Detroit Chassis. UM was contacted by officials from the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) to “develop recommendations for improving the economy and increasing jobs within this specific geographical area”. The Mt. Elliott Employment district was one of seven (7) “employment districts” defined in the Detroit Future City Strategic Framework Plan completed in 2012.

In attendance that day was Michael Rein, Associate Director of State Outreach along with representatives from the DEGC, Detroit Land Bank Authority, Michigan State University, Detroit Chassis, Focus: HOPE, with other community agencies and stake holders from the immediate area. The students were advised by UM’s Dr. June Manning and Eric Dueweke during the course of their work on the Mt. Elliott project. View Project PDF (40.66MB)

Metropolitan Design Studio

Michael Rein, Associate Director of State Outreach, was asked by Professor Joan Nassauer to participate in a review of work completed by her fifth year Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) students. The class, Metropolitan Design Studio, had been working on a project in Detroit with the community based organization, Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP). Mr. Rein, who worked privately as a Landscape Architect for over 30 years before joining UM, has worked with Professor Nassauer in the past. The students work provided numerous redevelopment options for LEAP to consider as they move forward.

Design in the Dynamics of Urban Landscape Recovery

SNRE 787: Metropolitan Design Studio, Winter 2013 Prof. Joan Nassauer, and GSI Amy Murdick .

Working in collaboration with Detroit’s Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP), School of Natural Resources and Environment landscape architecture each graduate student in Prof. Joan Nassauer’s course, Metropolitan Design Studio: Design in the Dynamics of Urban Landscape Recovery, developed a demonstration design scenario for a focal neighborhood of 18 blocks, approximately 115 acres with a predominance of vacant property and a 2010 population of 670, and containing the intersection of Gratiot with Warren, two major city arterials.

They developed a design for the study area as it could be in 2030 under one of three hypothetical scenarios:
1. Ecosystem services. The City of Detroit has identified the study area as a key stormwater management area and habitat link, and the City now provides urban services to less than half of the study area. While Gratiot remains a commercial arterial, the population of the study area has decreased dramatically since 2010.
2. Efficient adaptation. The City of Detroit has identified the study area as an urban services reconfiguration zone. The population of the study area is the same as 2010, but the urban pattern has been reconfigured to more efficiently deliver city services and enhance quality of life in the neighborhood.
3. Focal growth. The City of Detroit has identified the study area as a hub of commercial activity as well as higher density residential population, which has tripled since 2010 (including a tripling of children 15 and under). The urban pattern has been reconfigured to be successfully marketed and sustainably inhabited by residents who will feel a sense of ownership for their neighborhood.

Designs for every scenario included at least 20 contiguous acres dedicated to public open space that maximizes ecosystem services, including neighborhood recreation. Each designer considered:
1. How to apply the land use types from “Future Directions” typology of Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) Futures Task Force’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Framework as mapped in LEAP planning.
2. What might happen NOW – in the immediate future – in the study area that could be first step toward accomplishing the 2030 plan.
3. The immediate and longer term infrastructure installation and mangagement costs and benefits of their design.

Saginaw Outreach

In early August, Michael Rein met with officials JoAnn Crary and Tom Miller from Saginaw Future regarding potential partnership opportunities with the University of Michigan. In the course of the meeting, Ms. Crary mentioned that Saginaw Future was working closely with RACER Trust on the disposition of the former GM facilities in and around Saginaw. Two specific sites were mentioned that were contaminated and had potential brownfield applications. The question was raised if there was any individual at UM with expertise in re-use of brownfield sites?

After some initial research, Mr. Rein learned that Professor Joan Nassauer in the School of Natural Resources & Environment had practical experience in this particular area. After reviewing the base information regarding the two sites obtained from Saginaw Future, Professor Nassauer decided to choose the "Nodular" site as the focus for her “Metropolitan Design Studio” for this semester. Professor Nassauer and her Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA) students visited the site with community leaders from Saginaw and are created design options for re-development of this brownfield site. The final master plans were presented to Saginaw officials on March 9th. Photos on Flickr were taken by Dave Brenner

Former GM plant inspires students in SNRE Design Studio course

View the final presentation on Slideshare.

Hundreds of acres adjacent to a former GM plant are serving as the design canvas this year for a group of University of Michigan graduate students. Their assignment: create plans that address the ecological and property management dynamics of a landscape in transition from a past industrial use to an uncertain future. The acreage is part of a larger 700-acre former General Motors facility adjacent to the Saginaw River on the northwestern edge of Saginaw, Mich. The course work concludes in early spring, when students present drawings and concept plans that present scenarios for 2015 and 2027. The class, "Metropolitan Design Studio: Design in the Dynamics of Urban Landscape Recovery," is taught by Joan Iverson Nassauer, a professor of Landscape Architecture at U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment. The broader purpose of the class is to prepare students to envision how urban places can recover – and their inhabitants can thrive – in the context of fundamental economic shifts and emerging environmental legacies. The curriculum pushes students to think beyond distinct categories of brownfields and greenfields, open space and developed land and high density and low density and to instead envision new forms of development across scales in metropolitan systems. The resulting designs will serve as cues to the future to be acted upon by today’s citizens.