Does this pony in a cow costume make you smile? View more photos.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Building great communities is more about putting smiles on people’s faces than it is fixing potholes. Yes, pothole repair is important, but seeing a child laugh at a pony dressed up as a cow in a downtown parade or eating a formal dinner on a bridge with friends can be ever-lasting memories.
This was the message by placemaking expert Peter Kageyama in an education session on citizen engagement Friday, Jan. 18, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League headquarters in Ann Arbor. Kageyama spoke to about 20 southeast Michigan community leaders as part of a series of training weeks being offered by the League. He explained that the key to creating vibrant communities is finding what people love about their city and town and then building upon that.
He gave examples of a farming community that has a parade of cows and a river-community that turns a pedestrian foot-bridge into an elegant dinner to raise funds for the local chamber of commerce. The training week concept is a new service the League is providing to bring our vast array of education offerings to various parts of the state. League members and non-members can register for a whole week of trainings or pick and choose the topics that interest them. The first training week was this week and the next training week is Feb. 14-15 in Frankenmuth. Go here for details.
All the education sessions are excellent, but hearing Kageyama, of Florida, is a special treat in such a small setting. He often speaks around the world to large groups. If you missed him Friday he’s speaking again during training weeks in Kalamazoo, March 13-15; Lansing, April 24-26; and Mackinaw City, May 15-17; and Muskegon, June 5-7. Other topics planned at the training week sessions include the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) parliamentary procedure, municipal finance, service consolidation and shared services, and engaging your citizen change makers. You can register for the sesions here.
View additional photos from the training week in Ann Arbor here and here.
Matt Bach is the League's director of media relations. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Kageyama talks about citizen engagement at a Michigan Municipal League training session Friday, January 18, 2013. View more photos.
Registration is now open for a one-day conference which will explore issues surrounding older adults and what communities can do to prepare for this growing population.
The conference, a collaboration with AARP-Michigan, the Leagueand other organizations will be held on Feburary 28th from 9 am to 4 pm at Palmer Commons, located on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus.
Speakers already confirmed for the event include Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President who will discuss the partnership between AARP and the World Health Organization in promoting the Age Friendly Communities program in Michigan. Other speakers will include renowned walkability expert Dan Burden and Laurie Volk, who will discuss market research related to why it is in a community's best interest to retain and attract boomers and older adults.
Also, Rodney Harrell, AARP Senior Strategic Policy Advisor will address how housing and transportation can support active living at any age. Other speakers are still being added.
The conference reflects the need, as noted through the League's Center for 21st Century Communities, to create communities for the next 50 years that are geared both toward young adults and and an ever growing population of empty nest boomers who both want the same things in the places they live.
Registration is now available. For further information contact Karen Kafantaris at AARP, email@example.com
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Muncipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is issuing a request for proposals to rural communities facing design challenges to host local workshops in 2013. Successful applicants will receive a $7,000 grant and in-kind design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is on the new CIRD website: www.rural-design.org.
The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm EST.
CIRD (formerly known as "Your Town") works to help rural communities with populations of 50,000 or fewer enhance their quality of life and economic vitality through facilitated design workshops. The program brings together local leaders, non-profits, and community organizations with a team of specialists in design, planning, and creative placemaking to address challenges like strengthening economies, enhancing rural character, leveraging cultural assets, and designing efficient housing and transportation systems.
The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters® Partnership. A task force of national experts in rural design and planning is also being assembled to help shape the CIRD program.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail
December 19, 2012 16:00 by nbrown
Did you just complete a building or landscape restoration? Do you know a worthy preservationist or organization in your community who deserves some recognition? Then nominate! The annual awards ceremony is the highlight of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network's annual conference and brings well-deserved recognition for Michigan’s best preservation projects and people. The application for the 2013 MHPN Awards is now available. Please download it from the MHPN's website here. You all are doing some great things in your communities... Show them off!!
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the Michigan Municipal League handling economic development related issues. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-908-0305.