Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Michigan cities and downtown centers experiencing population growth despite challenges
Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan
The Michigan Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month since 2010.
THIS MONTH’S SHOW airs at 7 p.m. July 24 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can also listen now by clicking the links below. Experts discuss what is driving people to choose to live in Michigan’s largest cities’ and downtown centers despite the challenges facing many of these communities. Read more about the placemaking concept here at placemaking.mml.org.
- Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (51 seconds)
Natalie Burg is a writer and owner of Vial Half Full Communications. She is news editor for Lansing’s Capital Gains and a regular contributor to the Ann Arbor Observer, Metromode, Model D and Ann Arbor’s Concentrate. She has written extensively about the growing demand for urban lifestyle living. Model D recently published a special report that focused on the demographic trends of urban living in several of Michigan’s largest cities, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Lansing.
- Natalie Burg discusses some of the stories she’s written that shows what individuals are doing to turn neighborhoods into friendly, close-nit communities. (7:12)
Ilana Preuss is Vice President and Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America. She is a leading public voice for smart growth development working to strengthen federal and state policies on smart growth issues. She offers a national perspective on the move to live in downtown centers and the fiscal benefits of this growth.
- Schulz explains the Complete Streets concept and how streets are being designed to accommodate people of all ages and mobility. (10 minutes)
David Allen is the Chief Market Analyst for the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA) and has worked in the housing industry since 1999. MSHDA is getting a lot of praise for helping make downtowns like Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids more appealing as places where young people want to live.
- The role of universities and colleges is paramount to attracting talent to downtown centers along with numerous other factors, Allen explains. (9:58)
John Hieftje has served as the mayor of Ann Arbor since 2000. Ann Arbor is one of the Michigan cities experiencing an influx of people moving to downtown areas and has experienced a 30 percent growth in downtown population in the past decade.
- Hieftje explains that museums, events, walkability, bikeability, physical design and cultural amenities are just a few of the things Ann Arbor uses to attract and retain talent and make its community and downtown vibrant. (9:30)