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Creating Communities for the Next Fifty Years
Daniel P. Gilmartin, Executive Director & CEO, MML
League Executive Director Dan Gilmartin took some time after lunch to lead an interactive presentation on what we have learned over the last four months regarding those elements that make up a vibrant community. Across the country and the world, these places are characterized by downtowns and neighborhoods that are vibrant places where people live and work in closer proximity. Where the development preference is mixed-use commercial/residential, live-work places and buildings that generally go up instead of out. There are "third places" and public spaces where people can easily meet. These might be restaurants, clubs, bars, cafes or even a public square or plaza. These communities also have available cultural amenities such as museums, theaters, and libraries. There is also a number of open green spaces like parks, trails, and greenways. Most importantly, all of these are easily accessible through various modes of transportation—walking, biking, and public transit. And finally, the community culture is one of being welcoming to all and working to foster the growth of entrepreneurs.
Dan then lead a discussion with attendees on next steps and used input gathered through attendee surveys to lay out actions the League and attendees can take moving forward. He mentioned that the League can work on creating educational programs and white papers for members across the state on the various issues and strategies we have learned, and that the League will work with experts in design to create a community audit program that will be made available to members. For their part attendees mentioned that they could become ambassadors of the "message" working with the League to speak with colleagues across the state about actions they can take within their communities to become more vibrant.