89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment: Downtown Development in Ann Arbor

Dec 18, 2013

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Susan Pollay about development in downtown Ann Arbor and how it fits into a more sustainable future for the city. Susan Pollay is Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. 

Susan Pollay’s comments on sustainability

 “The Ann Arbor DDA Development Plan sets forward Sustainability as one of the DDA's primary strategies to encourage a vibrant, strong downtown.   The DDA strives to encourage sustainability in a variety of forms, including downtown's economic sustainability (including encouraging private reinvestment), its physical  sustainability (including performing regular infrastructure maintenance), and environmental sustainability (including encouraging a number of alternative transportation and energy-saving programs/projects)."


Some A2DDA projects which benefit sustainability:

  • Installing large sidewalk planters which increase the space for downtown street trees to optimize their success
  • Pedestrian improvement projects which include replacing cobrahead street lights with more energy efficient LED street lights
  • Transportation projects, including installing nearly 1,000 bike parking spaces, funding the getDowntown program, and paying nearly the entire cost of a go!pass for downtown employees (free AAATA bus pass)
  • Grant program providing a free energy audit for downtown businesses/buildings so owners can learn more about how they can reduce their energy use, which is also good for their bottom line
  • Projects to reduce the amount of storm water impacting the Allen Creek corridor, including storm water infiltration at the former YMCA parking lot and storm water detention at the new Library Lane parking structure.