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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 Main Street 2009-2010 Annual Report is available online. The report covers the major successes of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Michigan Main Street Program over the 2009-2010 reporting year and since the program’s founding in 2003. You’ll also find an explanation of the program’s “Four-Point Approach” and their “Eight Guiding Principals” to developing strong main street programs in Michigan downtowns.
The report highlights the accomplishments of 13 Michigan downtowns who were “Active Master and Selected Level Communities” in 2009-2010. Read the report to find out what kind of downtown development and community initiatives are happening in “Master Level” communities - Boyne City, Calumet, Clare, Marshall, Niles, and Portland, MI - and “Selected Level” communities - Grand Haven, Howell, Iron Mountain, Manistee, Old Town Lansing, Owosso, and Scottville.
Since 2003, the program has generated $96,329,318 in private and public investment, according to the report. $24,439,644 of that was generated in 2009-2010. 169 new businesses have been created, since 2003, and 62 were created in 2009-2010. 117 existing businesses have been expanded, since 2003, and 30 of those were expanded in 2009-2010.
Read the report or visit the Michigan Main Street Program online to find out more about the services and strategies this statewide program provides to Michigan communities.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info.
Three Michigan Municipal League members - Blissfield, Hart and Wayland - have received the Michigan Main Street Community Designation by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).This is great news for these communities because as full fledged Michigan Main Street communities, they will now receive five years of intensive technical assistance through the Michigan Main Street Center at MSHDA. THis training will focus on revitalization strategies desgned to attract new residents, business investment, economic growth and job creation to their center business districts."The Michigan Main Stret program will help Blissfield, Hart and Wayland created opportunities for new development and economic growth just as it has in downtowns across our state," said Governor Jennifer Granholm. "Michigan's economy will be stronger with thriving downowns - big and small."The Michigan Main Street program is part of Governor Granholm's initiative to create vibrant communities across Michigan, which is also a primary goal for the Michigan Municipal League and it's Center for 21st Century Communities program. These efforts are based on numerous recent studies showing that investing in our downtowns creates vibrant centers, making Michigan economcally stronger. There are currently 38 participating Michigan Main Street communities at all levels, inlcuding 16 at the select and master levels.If your community is interested in getting involved, please contact Laura Krizov at MSHDA at (517) 241-4237.In a press release sent to the League, Wayland officials and volunteers said they were trilled to get the Main Street designation."We are so excited to receive this designation from the state," said Mike Salisbury, chair of the DDA/Main Street Board that will oversee the program in Wayland. "So many people donated their time and talents to help prepare the extensive application to develop and perform the presentation in Lansing. It's heartening for Wayland to be recognized for all that hard work!"Wayland Mayor Tim Bala added "this presents a great opportunity to take Wayland's downtown to the next level of success. The Main Street Program is well known around the country for helping to revitalize traditional downtowns. This announcement comes at a perfect time for Wayland's downtown as well as the entire community as we continue to build on our efforts toward a more vibrant and sustainable downtown."Wayland is now organizing a celebration of the designation at a yet-to-be-determined date. Wayland officials made a series of YouTube videos as part of their presentation that earned them the Michigan Main Street Designation. View the videos here, here, here, here, here and here.Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wayland officials made a series of YouTube videos as part of their presentation that earned them the Michigan Main Street Designation. View the videos here, here, here, here, here and here. In this photo are "The Wayland City People" who performed as musical guests on the "Not Too Late for Downtown" show. They are, from left, Wayland resident Aaron Whitley, Wayland City Manager Chris Yonker, Wayland resident Matt Miner and city employee Jason Beckwith.
National Historical Preservation Month sponsors, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, think, “Old is the New Green,” this season. This year’s theme recognizes “the significant role historic preservation plays in more environmentally and economically sustainable development,” according to a recent announcement from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA).
SHPO and MSHDA are celebrating Michigan’s historic buildings and rehabilitation projects with a “Preservation Month Photo Contest." Anyone is invited to submit photos of their favorite historic buildings or people who are working to preserve and rehabilitate properties. Contestants compete for prizes and the chance to have their photos featured online. Visit MSHDA’s Celebrate Preservation! page for Historic Preservation Month events and resources or read full photo submission guidelines. Get your photos in by June 1st to enter.
The submission guidelines explain that the goal of the photo contest is "to spread the word throughout Michigan that preservation is inherently green by supporting sustainability. When you reinvest in older and historic buildings, live in or restore a historic home, support your local preservation organization, or simply opt not to tear down and rebuild, you are supporting a vision of environmental stewardship."
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