Turning the Rust Belt Green

Detroit made its mark on the world as a manufacturing center, but now urban gardens dot the landscape and some of those factories are being retooled to make solar panels and wind turbines. The Suburbs Alliance understands that a great region must be a green region. We’re working to help metro Detroit become a leader in green practices and technology and to change the region’s narrative forever.

All our work pursues a triple bottom line—promoting economic, social and environmental responsibility in an integrated way. The Suburbs Alliance acts as a resource for elected officials and city staff members looking to help their cities take on green initiatives, helping them take advantage of new ideas and learn what has worked for other cities.

Some projects go further, bringing the environment into sharp focus and helping cities and communities discuss, choose and take actions that directly reduce their carbon footprint.

Our work that helps turn the rust belt green:

CAPPlanCover_thumbcrop Climate Action Planning: The planet is warming up. And at the rate it’s changing, the ecosystem that has made the Great Lakes such an attractive place could be irrevocably harmed in our lifetimes. We’re working with small cities to help design smart strategies that can slow climate change even on tight budgets.


red-power-meter1-150x150_thumbcrop Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office: In 2007, our cities made a commitment to work together on energy issues–upgrading buildings, adopting new policies and arguing for federal and state agencies to focus more attention on local governments. The result: the nation’s first regional energy office!


Anchoring a Neighborhood

The Suburbs Alliance is kicking off Green Anchors, an ambitious project that aims to transform residential neighborhoods across our region, one house and one person at a time.

Infrastructure investment: safer bridges or wider highways?

One of every nine bridges in Michigan is structurally deficient. Meanwhile, SEMCOG’s 2040 plan intends to use a large portion of its $40 billion budget to widen I-94 and I-75.

Energy Efficiency & Bond Ratings

Can investing in energy efficiency help your bond rating? An interview with Tony Lehmann, Finance Director for the City of Huntington Woods.




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