Urban Futures

What is Urban Futures?

Urban Futures is a campus-wide initiative developed to expand community-based teaching and scholarship related to the future of urban human settlements.

How does "Urban Futures" intersect with Community Engagement?

OCEL is looking forward to supporting the campus-wide initiative, "Urban Futures". These venn diagrams show how Urban Futures work can align with OCEL's charge to institutionalize community engagement on campus. 

venn diagram depicting the differences and similarities between community engagement and urban futures
(Muzzin, 2023)

Urban Futures Spotlight: Jacob Napieralski

How ghost streams and redlining's legacy lead to unfairness in flood risk, in Detroit and elsewhere (The Conversation, March 2024)

Professor of Geology and Director of the Environmental Interpretive Center, Jacob Napieralski, was recently published in The Conversation to discuss his recent research about flood risk in redlined neighborhoods. "We found that flood risk was disproportionately distributed, with historically redlined neighborhoods bearing the greatest brunt of flood risk" (Napieralski, 2024). 

Dr. Napieralski recommends in the article that investment must go into understanding at-risk cities' "hidden hydrology" - through mapping and green stormwater infrastructure. These findings are invaluable to Detroiters and residents of historically redlined cities across the country. "In my view, marginalized communities need to have a strong voice in the search for solutions. Discrimination against these communities helped create the current problem. Listening to them now is key to both minimizing flood damage and beginning to right a historical injustice" (Napieralski, 2024). Thank you, Dr. Napieralski, for contributing to a happy, healthy, and thriving Urban Future!


Showcase your own Urban Futures activities!

a bar chart of different programs and initiatives tracked in collaboratory
Accessible version of Programs and Initiatives report filtered for Urban Futures

You can enter your own Urban Futures research, project, or course in UM-Dearborn's Community-Engagement Database, Collaboratory. The above image is a bar chart depicting the different Programs and Initiatives encompassed by the activities currently in Collaboratory - Urban Futures being the most prominent program/initiative documented so far. If you would like assistance entering your Urban Futures activity into Collaboratory, reach out to Elspeth ([email protected]). 

Office of Community-Engaged Learning

Suite 1100, First Floor - Ford Collaboratory - Mardigian Library
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128
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