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.
"Detroit Matters" - that’s the straight forward headline on the cover of the Michigan Municipal League’s most recent edition of the Review Magazine. The March/April 2013 magazine, available for free online here, is all about Detroit and why Detroit should matter to the rest of Michigan. The cover story focuses on John George and his Motor City Blight Busters program (pages 24-27).
Other highlights in the issue include:
- A column by League CEO Dan Gilmartin that explains how Detroit is Michigan’s beating heart (page 5);
- Q&A articles with people living in Detroit and why they chose to move there in recent years (pages 8-10);
- The revitalization of Clark Park (pages 12-14);
- A feature article on Recycle Here!, Detroit’s grassroots recycling program (pages 16-18);
- A look at several of Detroit’s social entrepreneurs, including Ponyride.org; GreenGarageDetroit.com; DetroitSoup.com; HatchDetroit.com (pages 19-21);
- A first-hand account of volunteering at Cass Community Social Services (pages 34-35);
"Our Review magazine often has articles related to Detroit, but this is the first time in recent history where an entire issue was devoted to Detroit,” said League CEO Daniel Gilmartin. “Our 2013 Convention is taking place in Detroit in September and we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the positive people, places and things in our state’s largest city. This issue of the magazine gives our members and the general public a glimpse of what they might see if they come to our Convention in September or simply visit Detroit.”
So why does Detroit Matter? Gilmartin explains it best in his column at the start of the magazine. Here’s a segment: “Imagine your body without your heart. Sure, maybe some fancy life support machine could keep your arms, legs and gut technically alive. But you certainly won’t grow and thrive. … Detroit is the beating heart that’s big enough and strong enough to keep Michigan’s lifeblood flowing. A state’s major metropolitan area is also its calling card to the rest of the world. It is the magnet that draws people and business, the face of our cultural coin. … Help us make Detroit a place that matters, so that Michigan will matter, too."
The League’s March/April Review Magazine was mailed out to subscribers this week. The print version of this magazine goes to more than 8,500 municipal leaders – mayors, city council, city managers, municipal staff – as well as state and federal politicians, numerous state agencies, and others interested in community placemaking efforts. The bimonthly magazine also is posted on the web here.
Matt Bach is the League's director of media relations. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2012 CEA finalists after being selected at the 2012 Capital Conference.
The Village of Lexington in Michigan’s Thumb region as well as Albion, South Haven and St. Joseph in the southern portion of the state are among the first communities to enter the Michigan Municipal League’s 2013 Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition.
The CEA is a spirited competition that recognizes innovative solutions taking place in MML-member communities. The contest officially gets under way during the League’s Capital Conference (April 9-10 in Lansing) but communities interested in participating can submit entry forms now at this link.
The small Village of Lexington, population 1,178, was the first to announce its entry into the CEA, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup” and St. Joseph, the 2007 winner of the Cup, and South Haven, and Albion entered this week. The League is seeking nominations from communities of all sizes from throughout the state. The 2012 winner was Grandville and you can view other past winners here. You can view past CEA presentations here.
Communities will compete in the first round of the competition during regional meetings at the League’s Capital Conference. Attendees of the Regional Roundtables will vote on the projects, and the regional winner will go on to compete at League's Annual Convention taking place in Detroit in September.
Remember, giving a five minute, “elevator pitch” style presentation at your Regional Roundtable at our Capital Conference is the ONLY way to enter!
Here's how to get involved in this year's CEA competition:
1.) Register: Click here for the online Community Excellence Award entry form.
2.) Prepare Entry: Prepare a five (5) minute verbal “elevator pitch” style presentation. Optional: Bring a 2 x 3 ft display board of your project/initiative; we will display it on an easel during the meeting.
Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and email@example.com.
Dan Gilmartin and Natalie Burg talk about aging in place on the Prosperity Agenda radio show.
From now until 2030, AARP predicts all 50 states will see a “rapid acceleration in growth” in their elderly populations as baby boomers turn 65.
During this month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR the Michigan Municipal League's Dan Gilmartin and guests talk about retiring baby boomers and the unprecedented opportunity they bring to cities and downtowns ready to accommodate them.
Several Michigan communities, such as Marquette, Holland and Howell, are already recognized for meeting this challenge and becoming thriving environments for retirees. The show airs 7 p.m. Wednesday on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen to the show anytime here on our website or by podcast here. You can register now for the Age-Friendly Communities Conference coming Feb 28 to UM-Ann Arbor.
The host of the show is League CEO Dan Gilmartin and his co-host for this first show of 2013 is Natalie Burg, a writer and owner of Vial Half Full Communications. Natalie is a former Downtown Development Director in Owosso and now writes about cities, placemaking and downtowns for numerous outlets including Metromode and Ann Arbor’s Concentrate. Our other guests are Marquette City Manager Bill Vajda, Barbara Spreitzer-Berent, an urban planner and gerontologist who serves as volunteer state coordinator for health and supportive services for AARP Michigan; and Joe Borgstrom, director of downtown and community services division for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The 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 airs on News/Talk 760 WJR on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.