Michigan Prosperity Agenda: The Evolution of Placemaking
We kicked off the first Prosperity Agenda radio show at News/Talk 760 WJR in January 2010, and we’ve seen placemaking come a long way since then. We know the importance of creating places where people want to live, work and enjoy, enabling people to build communities they love. The Michigan Municipal League has been instrumental in helping Michigan communities become engaged in placemaking, working with many partners over the years.
On this month’s radio show, we’re bringing together state and international experts in placemaking who have worked with us at the League and used their ideas to turn around cities such as Detroit.
It’s an ongoing project, and there is always another community that can benefit from placemaking. So there is a lot to talk about. My co-host for this month’s show is Natalie Burg, writer and owner of Vail Half Full Communications in Ann Arbor. Our guests are placemaking author Peter Kageyama; Fred Kent, founder and president of Project for Public Spaces; and placemaking innovator Josh McManus, of Rock Ventures.
It’s an ongoing project, and there is always another community that can benefit from placemaking. So there is a lot to talk about. League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin is the regular co-host of the show and this month’s guest co-host is Natalie Burg, writer and owner of Vail Half Full Communications in Ann Arbor. Guests are placemaking author Peter Kageyama; Fred Kent, founder and president of Project for Public Spaces; and placemaking innovator Josh McManus, of Rock Ventures.
The show airs 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen anytime on the audio links below. Listen as we talk about the conference and how people are building better Michigan communities.
View past radio shows here. You can also listen anytime by clicking on the audio links below or by subscribing to the FREE iTunes podcast. Learn more about the League’s placemaking work here on this blog.
Listen to the full show: (37:50)
Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains that the Prosperity Agenda radio show is about challenging listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play. Gilmartin said having vibrant and prosperous local communities is a key factor.
- Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (1:22)
Natalie Burg is a writer and owner of Vial Half Full Communications in Ann Arbor. A former downtown development professional, she covers entrepreneurship, innovation and development. She also has written extensively about the growing demand for urban lifestyle living. Her work has appeared in such publications as Concentrate, Metromode, Bridge, The Content Strategist and Forbes BrandVoice. She’s currently working on an article about a recent study validating the eight assets that make up great communities.
- Placemaking can happen in a community if there are people willing to do the work. Listen to Natalie explain. (6:39)
Peter Kageyama is the author if many placemaking books, including “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair between People and Their Places” and the follow up, “Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places.” He was the very first guest when the Prosperity Agenda show launched in January 2010. Peter discusses some cities in Michigan and across the state that are doing a great job with placemaking.
- What’s the current “it” city that people may not know about? Peter doesn’t hold back and names his ‘it” city. Bet you can’t guess what he says. Listen to find out. (10:30)
Fred Kent is a leading authority on revitalizing city spaces and one of the foremost thinkers in livability, smart growth and the future of the city. As founder and president of Project for Public Spaces, he is known throughout the world as a dynamic speaker and prolific ideas man. Traveling over 150,000 miles each year, Fred offers technical assistance to communities and gives major talks across North America and internationally. Since 1975, Fred has worked on hundreds of projects, including Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square in New York City; Discovery Green in Houston, TX; Campus Martius in Detroit. Fred explains his “power of 10” theory to making great places.
- Fred said a community doesn’t have to bring in an expert to revitalize itself. Listen to who he believes the experts are. (9:50)
Josh McManus handles operations at Rock Ventures, entrepreneur Dan Gilbert’s services company working with a portfolio of over 130 companies in Detroit, Cleveland and across the country. Josh joined Rock Ventures in 2015. An innovator in entrepreneurial development, talent attraction and retention, placemaking and cultivating emerging leadership, Josh is obsessed with the future of post-industrial American cities. His has worked to improve Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Akron, and Detroit. He is a regular public speaker on topics such as informed urban action, talent attraction and retention, innovation and entrepreneurial development. Josh explains why Detroit is the place to be.
Hear Josh explain why his boss, Dan Gilbert, is such a proponent of placemaking and creating vibrant spaces. (9:35)