Monday, October 19, 2015

Brennan Park Community Build October 24, 2015

Project FORA is excited to announce that our community partner, the South Parks Neighborhood Association, is hosting a open community build day for the first phase of the Brennan Park Site Plan that was developed collaboratively with us, Project FORA!

If you are interested in lending a hand to construct a new durable play structure that will serve the children of the community for many years to come. No special skills are necessary, if you can swing a hammer, then you are perfectly qualified.

The playground has been made possible by many partners and supporters, and a special thank you goes out to the Ruth Mott Foundation for their generous grant. For more information on Brennan Park and the South Parks Neighborhood Association check out their Facebook Page!

Project FORA will be there! Will YOU?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Mason Street Lots

Below are some on ground pictures taken of the eight lots that have been acquired by the Genesee County Land Bank. These lots are rift contiguous vacant lots within a five minute walk of downtown Flint. Project FORA is planning on launching a community garden on these lots Spring 2016. The initial plan is to make these lots productive land once again. 

Over time the lots will grow fresh fruits and vegetables using indigenous species and low maintenance plants that do not require watering. This is critical at this time as the city has web scrutinized for its public water supply. 

While these lots begin to become productive the plans are in place to rebuild new affordable housing that can serve our community's workers and students. There is a huge gap in housing that is underserved and project FORA is going to lead the charge in the missing middle housing. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Arts Tech Biz Mash-Up Conference

Project FORA was invited by the University of Michigan Flint to present at the ARTS / TECH / BIZ Mash-Up Conference which was held in July 2015. The conference focus was on emerging entrepreneurial talent that merged aspects of artistic endeavors, technology, and/or creative business models. Project FORA was again honored to be invited to talk to Flint based faculty, staff, students, and local community members about the core tenets of what we are all about.

What was added to this conversation was something new. Project FORA Founder, Kurt Neiswender, has expanded from not just pro bono practice, but into the realm of social entrepreneurship. In addition to Project FORA, Kurt has developed a L3C entity named Urban coLAB Architecture. An L3C business structure is short for Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, and is considered a hybrid of nonprofit, community focused practice, and a traditional LLC, for profit business structure.

The Urban coLAB Architecture L3C can benefit from the best of both models. By the way, Michigan is leading the charge with having the most approved L3C's. To learn more about the L3C structure please visit this link.

Moving past the business model to what it means for Project FORA, is that we can offer more services to the community with the two companies working collaboratively. Look for more exciting actions to come from both Project FORA and Urban coLAB Architecture.

2015 Structures for Inclusion Conference

Building on the previous success and positive response from the Michigan Association of Planning Conference, Project FORA is excited to announce that we were invited to talk at the international Structures For Inclusion Conference which was held in Detroit, Michigan at the Carr Center.

The SFI Conference focuses on Public Interest Design and this year was no different. We were honored to be among superstars of community engagement. Project FORA presented an updated version of our work with the South Parks Neighborhood Association and Brennan Park. Afterward we were part of  panel discussion regarding the practice of pro bono urban design.

Among the panelist were Design Voice from AIA Austin, AIA Detroit, and a collaborative team from New York City who worked to save the identity of a long time neighborhood in one of the outer boroughs.

It was energizing and refreshing to see emerging professionals taking the reigns and leading projects within their own communities to improve their urban spaces.