A "living lab of what our future looks like": Ann Arbor opens second resilience hub

Ann Arbor city officials and community members gathered on June 9 for the opening of the city’s second resilience hub, located at Bryant Community Center.

The new hub at 3 W. Eden Court features onsite stormwater management features, a kitchen for food distribution and preparation, educational space that is activated most days of the week for community programming, onsite bike repair materials, and a series of additional support services. 

"It's really important that residents get the services they need to not just survive, but to thrive," says Dr. Missy Stults, sustainability and innovations director for the city of Ann Arbor. "A resilience hub is a community-focused community test center that provides services to residents every single day … despite what's happening in the world – sunny days, blue-sky days, and those dark days."

The Bryant Community Center is operated by the Ann Arbor nonprofit Community Action Network (CAN) and is the largest food distribution site in Washtenaw County, Stults says. CAN, which also runs Ann Arbor's Northside Community Center resilience hub, focuses on programs and services including educating youth, stabilizing families, and building community. 

"I want to just praise Community Action Network … and all the residents of Bryant because this work has been a long time coming," Stults says. "It's been over two years of collaboration with CAN and this is just a piece of the bigger work that we're doing to make that a carbon-neutral neighborhood."

The project is part of the city’s unanimously adopted A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality plan, which outlines a path for how the entire Ann Arbor community can achieve a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by the year 2030. CAN has been partnering with the city to turn Bryant into the first carbon-neutral neighborhood in the country and make the center a carbon-negative facility. 

"I think my role has been a little bit of visioning what's possible and then just removing barriers so we can be wildly successful," Stults says. "The Bryant resilience hub is going to be this living lab of what our future looks like." 

Layla McMurtrie is a recent Eastern Michigan University graduate and former editor-in-chief of The Eastern Echo. She has a passion for arts and culture and hopes to tell the stories of underrepresented Michigan residents.

Photo courtesy of Missy Stults.
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