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Press Release


Contact:

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2016

Saginaw’s ‘PlacePlan: Riverfront Saginaw’ PlacePlan Now Available Online

Michigan Municipal League posts project at placemaking.mml.org

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The City of Saginaw’s PlacePlan: Riverfront Saginaw, a collaborative project of the City of Saginaw, Saginaw Future and the Saginaw Riverfront Development Commission, is now available for public viewing at placemaking.mml.org.

The Michigan Municipal League posted the Riverfront Saginaw PlacePlan report today along with PlacePlans projects from six other communities (Benton Harbor, Boyne City, Lathrup Village, Monroe, Niles, and Traverse City). Information about grants to implement similar PlacePlans in Allegan, Dearborn, Kalamazoo, and Sault Sainte Marie are also available. You can check them all out here: http://placemaking.mml.org/place-plans/. Download the Saginaw plan at www.saginaw-mi.com and look for 2015 PlacePlan: Riverfront Saginaw.

“Our communities already have so many great assets and the PlacePlans year-long process focuses on an existing asset and recommends ways to make it even better,” said League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “The plans also reflect the needs and wants of the local community members who were involved throughout the process. We’re excited about the opportunities and possibilities the plans represent in these communities.”

PlacePlans is a joint effort between the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction, and is led at the state agency level by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). It is a program to help communities design and implement transformative placemaking projects to focus economic development efforts around walkable downtown districts.

“The PlacePlans program fosters collaboration from local individuals to make their communities feel like home. It’s inspiring to see the innovative and creative work generated by leaders and residents in these communities—Benton Harbor, Boyne City, Lathrup Village, Monroe, Niles, Saginaw and Traverse City,” said Gary Heidel, chief placemaking officer for MSHDA. “Hopefully these PlacePlans can become reality and build upon the positive placemaking work already happening in these cities.”

This current round of PlacePlans work began about a year ago when Saginaw was among seven communities selected to receive technical assistance from university faculty and students, professional consultants, and League staff.

In Saginaw, League staff facilitated development of a “shared strategy” to prioritize possible placemaking activities in the riverfront area and where the community should commit its limited resources. In support of this strategy development, the PlacePlans team worked with local organizations to plan several community engagement events and stakeholder meetings.

This project scope was atypical for PlacePlans, which is normally structured around a physical design process for a relatively small geographic area. Saginaw’s PlacePlan is instead aimed at identifying high-impact placemaking initiatives, prioritizing action steps, and recommending a structure to follow those priorities. In addition, the city requested that the League provide recommendations for improving the zoning ordinance and design guidelines that apply to the riverfront district.

Following numerous community meetings and events involving hundreds of Saginaw-area residents, multiple priorities were established, including improving connectivity between riverfront destinations, attracting and supporting entrepreneurs, and creating an urban homestead program.

“For us, the PlacePlans program really gave us some specific areas to focus on,” said Saginaw City Manager Tim Morales. “We have a lot of projects and programs we want to do but our resources are limited. We truly appreciate the PlacePlans process because it’s given us some clear direction moving forward.”

View the plan here: http://placemaking.mml.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Saginaw-PlacePlans-low-res.pdf.

For more information, go to placemaking.mml.org or contact Matt Bach, League director of media relations, at 734-669-6317 or mbach@mml.org.

The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.

About Michigan Municipal League:
Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.

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