Andrews University Students Help Revitalize Buchanan: “The Nicest Place in America”

While Buchanan, Michigan right here in Berrien County may have been named “The Nicest Place in America 2020” by Reader’s Digest last year, there’s always room for improvement and students engaged in the Andrews University Urban Design Studio are ready to help make that happen.

The Andrews University Urban Design Studio led by Professor Andrew von Maur arrived in Buchanan on Wednesday for their first field visit, engaged by the Buchanan itself to reimagine redevelopment opportunities in the Redbud City.

The student’s first day included walking the city and touring the downtown, redevelopment parcels, recreational areas, historic buildings, and the city’s waterfront. Professor Andrew von Maur says, “There’s a lot of excitement in this group to work with the leadership and residents to discuss what could be in Buchanan.”

City Manager Heather Grace and Community Development Director, Rich Murphy, joined the students for their first visit, with Grace saying, “There is so much positive energy in Buchanan right now. This is really perfect timing to kick off this project. The students want to hear what residents envision for the future of Buchanan.”

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The Urban Design Studio will be working in Buchanan for the entire semester.

Residents and anyone else interested can follow the project on the Andrews University School of Architecture and Design and City of Buchanan Facebook pages, through regular media releases, and through stakeholder and public input meetings that will be scheduled throughout the project.

Community Development Director, Rich Murphy says, “The goal of the project is to provide a roadmap for the next wave of revitalization in Buchanan.”

Pictured from left to right in the photo provided to us are: Ronesto Pineda (Belize), Professor Andrew von Maur, Juston Foote (Oregon), City Manager Heather Grace, Joel Soto (Peru) Jaysung Choi (South Korea), Reu Avellona (California), Ornella Gregorutti (Paraguay), Community Development Director Richard Murphy