What defines a community? It’s the common ground where people gather – from housing, squares, streets and plazas to parks, green spaces and waterfronts.
The Michigan Municipal League believes that by revitalizing communities and rebuilding neighborhoods, we can strengthen the entire state. Together with our many partners, we invest in Michigan communities to enhance the quality of life of our residents – and to attract and retain businesses, entrepreneurs and workers throughout the state.
This approach is commonly described as creating a “sense of place” or just “placemaking.” It’s a simple concept really, based on a single principle – people choose to settle in places that offer the amenities, social and professional networks, resources and opportunities to support thriving lifestyles.
Michigan can attract and retain talent – especially young, knowledge-based talent – by focusing on how best to utilize our regional communities’ unique placemaking assets.Michigan is seen these days as leading the national movement for "placemaking". Downtowns and neighborhoods, cities, and regions see the importance of “place” to attracting talent, inspiring entrepreneurship, and encouraging business.
Recently, the League, along with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the MSU Land Policy Institute, and other statewide organizations launched the MIPlace Partnership Initiative and a companion ‘Placemaking Curriculum’ with the goal of helping Michigan communities learn more about and implement placemaking as a strategic economic development. The six-module curriculum from the MI-Place Partnership can jump-start your community’s placemaking creativity.
At the League's upcoming Capitol Conference you'll have the chance to more about the curriculum and learn what your community can do to help restore prosperity to Michigan and enhance the quality of life for everyone in your community. For more information about the MiPlace Partnership Initiative and Placemaking Curriculum Training being offered in the spring of 2013 by nonprofit placemaking partners such as Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) and Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) visit the MIPlace website at miplace.org.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or at email@example.com.
The Michigan Municipal League today (June 6, 2012) launched three new blogs about city operations, digital innovations and the importance of private and public investment in communities. These blogs are part of the League’s key mission to serve as the one clear voice for Michigan communities.
Read a news release about the blogs here. The League’s Anthony Minghine, associate executive director and chief operations officer; will write a regular blog called “City Ops” about the practical things that cities deal with on a daily basis. The League’s Rob Ferrari, director of digital strategies, will write the blog “inKNOWvate” about how messaging and technology can generate stronger community engagement, identity and support. The blog “Communities Count” by the League’s Arnold Weinfeld, director of strategic initiatives and federal affairs, will focus on why it’s vital to invest in Michigan’s communities.
While these three blogs are new, the League has been blogging for years, including a legislative blog called Inside 208, and a blog about the eight assets to creating vibrant communities, called 21c3 (Center for 21st Century Communities.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. Reach him at 734-669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
What started over a year ago as a discussion between the Howell, Brighton and Hartland Chambers of Commerce and culminated with the involvement of 800 interested citizens from the private, public, non-profit, faith-based and education communities, Livingston County is getting ready to unveil "Advantage Livingston".
Similar to the process that created the "Grand Vision" in the Northwest Michigan, "Advantage Livingston" looks to put forth a vision for increased and sustainable prosperity throughout Livingston County in alignment with many of the assets found in the League's Center for 21st Century Communities program.
The kick-off event is scheduled for April 13th at 7:30 am at Crystal Gardens, where the featured speaker will be Govenror Snyder's Director of Strategy, Bill Rustem. The event is open to the public and while there is no charge to attend or reservation required a RSVP is appreciated through either the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Hartland Area Chamber. Advantage Livingston launch press release.DOC (36.50 kb)
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 5179080304 or by e-mail
Often times when I or other League staff discuss our "Center for 21st Century Communities" program, we get the comment that the program seems to be focused on larger communities. Well, a visit to the city of Ludington (population 8500), shows that any community can work the strategies in the program to focus on their assets and celebrate their history and culture.
The city recently unveiled the final piece in their waterfront sculpture park. The park is part of a wonderful public space along the waterfront that includes nine sculptures, each celebrating a part of Ludington's history and culture from farming to lumber to its place on the water. Even today as you drive through the region, this culture is alive and well.
Now it will be further explored through a grant from the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to guide a local task force in developing plans for cultural economic development in Mason County and for marketing the county as a cultural destination. The task force will be led by Dr. William Anderson, the former director (actually first and only) of the state Department of History, Arts and Libraries.
I had the opportunity to tour Ludington with Dr. Anderson and along with the wonderful waterfront, the area also has a growing arts community being developed through the Ludington Center for the Arts. A children's museum can be found in the downtown as well as the all important grocery market, a important element in attracting people to live in a walkable, viable downtown area.
My visit to Ludington was one of those that once again showed the great things going on in communities across our state. Cities such as Ludington, Alpena, Sault St. Marie, Ypsilanti, Lapeer, Lathrup Village, Saline, Brighton and a host of others are finding their assets and using the strategies and tools contained in the League's 21c3 program to becoming vibrant communities for the next fifty years. Find out more at: http://www.mml.org/resources/21c3/about.html
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
One of the sculptures in Ludington.