This blog is part of a series written by UM’s Net Impact Student Chapter. PizzaPlex thanks them for documenting our journey installing green infrastructure.
Mission is core to the impact we can create in this world.
PizzaPlex goes above and beyond a typical restaurant’s mission, aiming to create authentic food and provide open space for connections while keeping sustainability at the forefront of its business operations.
The current challenge PizzaPlex is tackling is how to effectively manage onsite stormwater, a common issue in Detroit.
In the midst of a green culture shift, Detroit faces infrastructure challenges typical of an old city. The city runs on a combined sewer overflow system (CSO), where both stormwater and wastewater flow into the same infrastructure, often resulting in sewage backups. This can lead to a number of problems if released into our ecosystem and is a hassle to deal with during heavy rain.
In order to manage this problem, PizzaPlex applied for and received a mini-grant from Detroit Future City to transform its patio by installing green infrastructure. PizzaPlex is implementing a stormwater cistern, which is a large container placed underground to collect and store rainwater. This system will be able to infiltrate the water back into the ground instead of dumping it into the CSO.
While this system will be invisible and underground, PizzaPlex has a long-term goal of beautifying their outdoor space above it. They plan to grow native plants and produce fresh food and herbs in addition to artistically portraying their sustainability commitment for the public.
Special thanks to PizzaPlex project partners:
If you’re interested in learning more about stormwater solutions and green infrastructure in Detroit, check out the following resources:
- Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
- The Greening of Detroit
- Zero Waste Detroit
- Eastside Community Network
- Detroit Future City
- Detroit’s Office of Sustainability
Stay tuned for more updates on implementation!