Do you know what your walk score is? If you haven't checked it out yet, why not do it now! Go to www.walkscore.com to find out how walkable your neighborhood is. Not only does it give you your score out of a possible 100 points (0 meaning you are totally car-dependent to 100 being the most walkable), but it also lists the mileage to restaurants, shopping, schools, coffee shops, parks and other points of interest nearby, generally within a distance of one-quarter mile to one mile from your home. If you score 70 or over, that indicates that you can possibly get by without a car. You can now find out your transit score as well. And, there is a real economic boost in having a high walk score, with a recent report showing a direct correlation between your walk score and the value of your home. The higher the score, the higher the value.
As part of our Center for 21st Century Communities, one of our 8 assets is physical design and walkability. We emphasize the importance of designing communities that allow people to socially connect with each other and get from point A to point B without always relying on the car. Walkable communities are not only greener, but enhance our quality of life as well. If we are going to be competitive in a global economy, then we have to create the type of communities that will attract people of all ages. This is a great tool to measure how we are doing!
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development at the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734-669-6320 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Recognizing that an arts-based economy can improve the qulity of life, generate revenue, attract visitors and encourage investment, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has announced a grant funding opportunity, targeting communities with a population of 15,000 or less to highlight rural art projects. Grant funds to qualifying communities range from $5,000 - $10,000 with a 50/50 local cash match. For more information and to apply, click here http://tinyurl.com/26egxqa.
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734-669-6320 or at email@example.com.
We often talk about the uniqueness of a community and the importance of leveraging those assets regionally. Well, the Keweenaw Peninsula is an outstanding example of doing just that by highlighting its history, through its art. By taking advantage of the rich resources in the region such as copper, driftwood and beach stones, artists are able to translate the past into exquisite pieces of art. They have locally connected through their artwork to highlight their rich heritage and define the region as a mecca for artists.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is only one of many places where there are active artist communities in the Upper Peninsula. The U.P as a whole has a rich enclave of artists, making it an attractive tourist destination. With help from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Upper Peninsula Art Map has been created to guide travelers on an art trail of galleries and studios through the U.P. A total of 126 venues are included with the heaviest concentrations in Marquette, Escanaba, Houghton-Hancock, Calumet and Menominee. There are other galleries along U.S. 2 and still others off the beaten track.
Bringing history alive through art and creating local connections through artwork, brings home, once again, the importance of arts and culture in helping to define the kind of communities we want to create in the 21st century.
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734.669.6320 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auburn Hills gets it. In order to make its community a more attractive place, the city will be introducing free high speed internet access to downtown businesses, citizens and visitors. It's all part of a plan to make their downtown a more desirable destination. Pete Augur, city manager, said it best. "With the addition of Wi Fi, the city expands its vision of creating a Downtown destination spot and helps attract business development and new and returning visitors while providing a valuable service to the Downtown community as a whole.” Messaging and Technology is one of our 8 assets of the Center for 21st Century Communities and a key component in attracting people, especially young people, to a place. It provides the connectivity to allow people to work, socialize and study anywhere. By having the vision to make WiFi widely available throughout their downtown, Auburn Hills has definitely positioned itself as a 21st century community!
Colleen Layton is Director of Policy Development for the Michigan Municipal League. She can be reached at 734.669.6320 or email@example.com.