The Michigan Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism is unveiling its meetup series in Grand Rapids this week. The meetups are a networking and educational opportunity for people passionate about the built environment.
The West Michigan Meetup will be held on Wednesday, October 10th in Grand Rapids beginning at 7 pm at the Harmony Brewing Company located at 1551 Lake Drive, SE. Lee Hardy, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College will be the featured speaker presenting on bicycling in Amsterdam.
MiCNU has been holding similar Meetups in Lansing and Birmingham since 2010. For more information on MiCNU visit their facebook page. For more information on how various organizations such as the League are working together with the state of Michigan to further place-based strategies, visit miplace.org.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail
The US EPA recently announced a new set of technical assistance tools available through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The next round of applications will be accepted starting September 24. EPA is providing webinars 9/21 and 9/27 for communities interested in learning more.
Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected local and/or tribal governments using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. The purpose of delivering these tools is to stimulate a discussion about growth and development and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches.
In 2013, EPA will select up to 44 communities for assistance. Each technical assistance project in a community will include:
- Public engagement, a one-day workshop that is open to the public.
- Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
- A memo outlining specific steps the community could take to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.
Technical assistance will be delivered by EPA staff and by four nonprofit organizations with extensive expertise in sustainable communities. These organizations—Forterra, Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America—have received grants from EPA to offer assistance using tools they have chosen.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him by email or Twitter.
Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction is hosting the "Built Environment Showcase - Today and Tomorrow" on Thursday, October 25th in East Lansing.
This event is designed to bring together the many industries and professions that create the built environment. The "built environment" is used to refer to that sector of our economy that works to provide settings for human activity, including buildings, parks, green space, neighborhoods, cities, and supporting infrastructure. Both the private and public sector have direct impacts on this sector, providing jobs and generating direct economic impact.
The purpose of the BESTT event is to showcase the impact of this sector, provide opportunity for interaction and explore new public/private partnerships.
The event will feature a day-long exhibition as well as presentations on the impact of placemaking on the built environment and a panel discussion. The event is free and open. For more information and to register, visit the BESTT website.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304.
Michael Moore speaks at MLGMA Summer Workshop. View more photos on flickr.
Watch the video on Vimeo.
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan - Municipal leaders from throughout Michigan attended the annual Michigan Local Government Management Association (MLGMA) summer workshop in Traverse City recently.
The four-day workshop included education sessions on the economics of placemaking by Michigan Municipal League CEO Dan Gilmartin, a discussion on the value of farm markets and agribusiness, a presentation by Academy Award winner Michael Moore and numerous other topics.
Moore talked about his work in Traverse City in revitalizing the historic State Theatre in downtown Traverse City and starting up the Traverse City Film Festival.
Moore’s talk was centered around the importance of having vibrant downtowns, which is a philosophy shared by the Michigan Municipal League (economicsofplace.com and mml.org/placemaking). The League believes that placemaking is crucial to the Michigan’s economic turnaround.
The annual MLGMA summer conference is an opportunity to city managers, county executives, village managers and other municipal leaders to gather, network, share ideas and learn about the latest legislation, policies and techniques related to Michigan communities.
The group also took a tour of Traverse City including stops at the restored Traverse City Opera House, State Theatre and the Grand Traverse Commons multi-use development. Other sessions included a presentation about the League’s natural gas purchasing program; revitalization and brownfields; and a legislative update from the League’s Lansing staff.
For more about the Michigan Municipal League and what we do go to mml.org. For more about MLGMA go to http://www.mlgma.org/. View more photos from the MLGMA workshop on flickr.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at email@example.com and (734) 669-6317.