Washington Park Neighborhood Renewal Project


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<Daniel.Sweeney@wellsfargo.com>, Carl Quindel <cquindel@actshousing.org>, Fatima Benhaddou <fatima@actshousing.org>, Erick Anderson <eanderson@urbanecologycenter.org>, Jesse Blom <jesseblom@gmail.com>, Keith Holt <holt.keith.a@gmail.com>, Larry Kilmer <lkilmer@actshousing.org>, Michael Gosman <mgosman@actshousing.org>, Willie Karidis <wkaridis@urbanecologycenter.org>, “daniel.Sweeney@wellsfargo.com”

Re-Think Home Design, Orchestration, and Stewarding

Re-think Homes now involves a vision of empty nesting boomers or single boomers with more space than they need in their homes, yards, and garages, partnering with millennials who would like to move out of their parents’ home, get training and hands on experience in practical fields like food production, old home restoration and greening transformation, teaching, small business and/or enterprise start-ups, social media and internet empowerment, writing/public speaking, digital training/credentialing, etc.

Here are some people who could profit from Rethink Homes Married to Victory Garden Movement

  • home schooling families

  • suburban oversize home owners

  • youth who can’t afford college credentialing but could show wide variety of skill and knowledge sets through elaboration of digital training project SWF now prototyping

  • skilled boomers needing new meaning and talent outlet

  • myriad of “tinkerer’s workshops” to advance science and art of small space intensive food production

  • elder owners needing company and various kinds of support

and more.

Some Practical Skill Sets for Transitioning Millennial
(especially our young men!)

  • raised bed food production
  • vermiculture & soldier fly larvae ranching
  • mushrooms in the basement
  • small aquaponics systems in the garage

cleaning house & dishes

  • cooking
  • painting/decorating rooms
  • lawn and garden care
  • working with other people
  • internet empowerment
  • neighborhood and community organizing
  • much more depending on skills of boomer “partners”

Real value of project now is to get people talking about the wasted resources of oversize homes, grass lawns, skilled people, both youth and old, and precious water/nitrogen/sunshine, needing something different than what now exists.

An Alternative to $100,000 College Loan Debt?

Web-enabled cellphones and tablets are creating vast new possibilities to bring high-quality, low-cost education to every community college and public school so people can afford to acquire the skills to learn 21st-century jobs. Cloud computing is giving anyone with a creative spark cheap, powerful tools to start a company with very little money. And dramatically low interest rates mean we can borrow to build new infrastructure — and make money. (Friedman in today’s NYT)

Partners Poised to Explore The Project: Lets Start With Our Engaged Scholars

There are a number of engaged university professors poised to team up with this, not only for the sake of their students and their research projects, but also because many of them are either boomers or have children who need something like that which this proposes.

Boomer Millennial Partnerships for Blue Green Work Homes

Blue Green Work Homes

Blue Green Work Homes are ready to be co-created, initially as joint ventures
between millennial and boomer partners, aiming to combine complimentary
resources for graceful, productive homes as havens, schools, mini farms, and workshops.

There are tens of thousands of boomers across the Great Lakes Heartland living in homes much larger than their current needs. The “awakened” 10 percent of these boomers would prefer the autumn of their lives to be as productive for addressing issues of social and ecological justice and creating the good city life as possible.

There are tens of thousands of millennials in our region who are spending large sums of money for educational credentials that may not translate into jobs or careers. The “olympians” among this group have sufficient artisinal, agrarian, or other talents and resources to merit compensation of some kind for co-creating a Blue Green Work Home project. That may be in the form of room and board, a percentage of proceeds, or whatever kind of partnership deal deemed appropriate as a start-up meeting of the minds.

Such boomers and millennials, like Godsil and Montezon, are poised to use space in
a city homes for…

Householder Green Tech Experiments

Aquaponics miniatures in basements, garages, or rooms
Vermiculture, composting, and raised bed food gardens
Elder and Student Work Hostel Space
Media center and digital learning space
Small enterprise development center
Eco and Social Enterprise Tourism

Designing Work Home Deals

Having imagined a Blue Green Work Home leads to the design moment. The
parties to the contract will be the principals but their efforts would be greatly
enhanced with the participation of other actors, e.g. Sweet Water Foundation,
Marquette U. Kohler School of Entrepreneurship, MSOE, UWM, Alverno, and
so forth.

Orchestrating Blue Green Work Homes

These orchestrations from visions and designs would be chronicled to provide
a template for replications.

to be continued

Neighborhood “Hubs” Networked to Downtown “Center”

City Hall’s Neighborhood STEAM Centers(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Artisanship, Math)

  • Info Bio Tech Networked STEAM Centers for Neighborhood Stabilization

  • Information Age skills thru hands/on & digital training/credentialing


  • Bio Technology skills for personal, family, and community health, nutrition, and abundance


  • Networked citizens owning intellectual capital embed in value creating circles of local and global commerce

  • Grass roots, business, university, spiritual community and government knowledge sharing through digital arts embed in community place

ABC Development Applied to Nbd 21st Century STEAM Centers

Cities leverage existing resources to minimize green dollar cost of prototype STEAM Centers

  • neighborhood places offer minimal rent to start-up Node, which could be as

simple as an e-Choupal Information Kiosks


Godsil’s Favorite Enterprises Happy to Offer Free Space for Mayor’s STEAM Kiosks

Stores, cafes, schools, churches, barber shops, salons, elder facilities, etc.

Downtown Food Center & Networked Neighborhood Hubs

Grand Avenue Downtown Innovation Food Center and Networked Neighborhood Hubs

Combining internet connectivity for articulation of neighborhood/community/school food projects with downtown location for inter-university consortium on urban ag/nutrition, and mass transit accessibility the Grand Downtown Innovation center would provide
Downtown Bio & Info Tech Innovation Center

Networked Neighborhood Bio & Info Tech Hub

Around 2005 Julia Taylor and Mayor Barrett introduced the concept of an emerging
Milwaukee Renaissance—”on the cusp of a renaissance,” in Julia’s expression.

In March, 2008, MUAN organized a highly successful international urban agriculture
conference at which the head of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development, Rocky
Marcoux, proudly proclaimed Milwaukee as the center of American urban agriculture.

In 2011 IBM named Milwaukee a “Smart City Learning to Feed Itself” and exhorted us to build upon the powerful intellectual and enterprise resources in place to make Milwaukee a leading exporter of intellectual capital, developer of urban agriculture neighborhood practitioners and professionals for our own, the nation’s, and the world’s deep needs around food security and global warming.

In 2012 Dean Lovell commissioned Stan Stojkovic, Dean of School of Social Welfare, to accelerate an all university applied research consortium around Urban Agriculture and Nutrition.

Accelerate Milwaukee Renaissance w. Downtown Innovation Center & Networked Neighborhood Hubs

Transitioning from an industrial city to an organic city

This Boomberg grant can go a long way toward accelerating Milwaukee’s promise as the nation’s leading urban agriculture research and development center.

A downtown innovation center that provides hands-on research, modeling, workshops, eco-tourism sites and that focuses on connecting the center with the existing and emerging neighborhood hubs would be of profound consequence. This networked initiative would be enhanced by the internet and mass transit connectivity the model provides.

Bloomberg Award Supports the Milwaukee Grand Alliance for Comprehensive Food Grid

Harvard Business School is devoting a project for MBA and continuing education for CEO’s focused on the Milwaukee “Eco System” so profoundly advancing vision of Milwaukee as a global hub for fresh water industry. The IBM report called for Milwaukee to create a water focused urban agriculture innovation center and council similar to the Water Council. Dean Garman and Chancellor Lovel are developing cooperative research consortiums to connect our universities with one another, with business, and civil society experiments in food production, water conservation, and other bio-technology innovations.

Neighborhoods would profit from downtown center supporting/connecting:

  • neighborhood food hubs like Walnut Way
  • healthy community food stores and self-reliance/green training, e.g. bike fix up workshops, hoop house construction
  • mobile phone and internet kiosk connecting neighborhoods with other neighborhood hubs and downtown center
  • bus accessible downtown training for neighborhood food captains
  • research, training, and support for fruit and veggie trucks and bikes
  • downtown center, mass transit accessible, becomes gathering place for sharing art, enterprise, and community

building events

Sweet Water 2010 Chicago Vision: Sweet Water Miniature Showrooms

Sweet Water Organics and the Sweet Water Foundation have announced their intention of co-creating Sweet Water Two in the City of Chicago. Milwaukee’s Sweet Water One has recently introduced the nation, and even the world, to the possibilities of aquaponics farming in historic industrial buildings and their adjacent properties. Here is a link to NBC, NPR, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times coverage of their aquaponics fish vegetable farm growing perch and produce for local markets.


Chicago Partners First Focus: Sweet Water Miniature Showrooms in East Garfield Neighborhood

Sweet Water Organics has partnered with a wide range of institutions, engineers, biologists, aquatic scientists, artisans, mechanics, artists, and entrepreneurs to create the world’s first commercial scale aquaponic system, now home to 70,000 perch and tilapia and thousands of lettuce, basil, chard, water cress, and other plants being enjoyed fresh daily by Milwaukee restaurant patrons. In collaboration with the Sweet Water Foundation and Dr. Charlie Price’s Aquaponics UK, Sweet Water has developed a series of Sweet Water Miniatures for installation in schools, small and large urban agriculture enterprises, and museums. The Smithsonian and Shedd are in conversation about partnerships not only to provide hands on learning experience for young and old, but also to support the democratization urban agriculture, starting with a vision of equipping 10% of Chicago and Milwaukee schools with aquaponic minatures by the year 2020. The diffusion of these small systems will accelerate the acquisitions of skill sets necessary for major commercial up-scaling of aquaponics in the urban centers of America and the world beyond.

East Garfield Urban Agriculture and Aquaponic Demonstration Sites for Home, School, and Main Street Business

Two Chicago entrepreneurs may provide the start-up capital and the sites for the introduction of Sweet Water to the Chicago market. Sweet Water Chicago will begin with miniatures in a number of East Garfield properties, prices ranging from $1,500, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000. These aquaponic project sites will provide hands-on urban agriculture experience for Chicago citizens young and old, starting with aquaponics, and including composting, vermiculture, raised bed gardening, compost tea development, and multi-media information collection, storage, and distribution to diffuse the innovations beyond the immediate area into the city and region beyond.

The East Garfield initiative will be supported by the Milwaukee Sweet Water teams, which include the Great Lakes Water Institute, the School of Fresh Water Sciences, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, the Milwaukee Water Council, and a number of Milwaukee’s thriving pathfinders in urban agriculture methodologies. Phase Two of the Sweet Water Chicago initiative will be to upscale to a commercial replication of Milwaukee’s Sweet Water Organics in one or more of Chicago’s classic factories from the industrial era.

Emmanuel Pratt, executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation, will be connecting the Sweet Water East Garfield demonstration sites with Chicago partners, which include:

  • The Office of the Mayor
  • The Presidents of Chicago State University and Kennedy King College
  • Science Teams from the Shedd Aquarium
  • The Whitney Young, Ravinia, and St. Ignatius College Prep Communities
  • Black Oaks Center for Sustainability
  • And others provided upon request

The Sweet Water Foundation and the Chicago enterprise teams may jump start the Sweet Water Chicago developments in a collaboration with Kennedy King College and Chicago State University at the Masonic Temple site across the street from Kennedy King College’s culinary and multi media facilities, adjacent to their proposed urban farm demonstration model.

The Sweet Water Garfield Eco Tourist and STEM Training Destination

The Chicago Sweet Water alliance will work with the Visitors Bureau and various Chicago area school systems to transform the work sites into science labs and tourist destinations while the project is in development. In collaboration with students from Kennedy King a documentary film and learning modules will be developed and distributed, possibly in concert with Sweet Water Milwaukee’s collaboration with IBM’s Smart Cities Smart Planet initiative. The Sweet Water Milwaukee site just yesterday astonished 50 tour organizers from Minnesota, each of whom paid $8 each for an hour tour and were eager to spread the good word about the stunning beauty of this 21st century earth friendly industry ready to burst forth in the civic culture of Chicago.

Crafting the Deal to Roll Out the Sweet Water Chicago Initiative

Dr. Charlie Price will be working with the Sweet Water team to produce a Sweet Water Miniature Manuel ready for sharing by the beginning of 2011. “The Sweet Water Aquaponics Book” will present the miniatures that will be developed at the
East Garfield sites. Sweet Water aquaponics design teams will survey the possible sites to introduce the first showroom in December as well. Construction of the first miniatures and their supporting show rooms will begin in January. By April 1 it is expected that 4 models will have been created, prices ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Over the course of the summer the $25,000 and $50,000 models will be developed.

Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by tyler schuster.  Page last modified on May 01, 2013

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