Wrap the train station in solar panels? LTU thinks green for Southwest Detroit

Imagine the Michigan Central Station covered in solar panels and wind turbines, providing energy to the surrounding neighborhood. Sound crazy? That might be one way to describe this team of thinkers from Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield -- but their ideas for making Southwest Detroit the city's first net-zero community, meaning it would produce more energy than it uses, recently won LTU Professor Constance Budurow's Studio (C) a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.


Beyond producing some alternative energy for the district, the LTU team sees the idea as a catalyst for further experimentation, said Jordan Martin, 24, a recent LTU graduate in urban design. "We want to start that brainwork and then hope that that would spark further growth and opportunities for the people," Martin said. Other tactics suggested by the team include creating more public transit and more green infrastructure, like the planned extension of the RiverWalk west of downtown.

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