Advocacy Blue Arrows

Michigan Prosperity Agenda: League’s recently released book emphasizes quality of place to Michigan’s economic prosperity


Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

wjr show

The Michigan Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month throughout 2010 and will continue through 2011.

The hour-long radio program is hosted by Dan Gilmartin, CEO of the Michigan Municipal League (the League). The show is sponsored by the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

The most recent show aired at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 on News/Talk 760 WJR. We talked to experts regarding quality of place in Michigan and the League’s recently released book “The Economics of Place – The Value of Building Communities Around People.”


Audio (length: 37:50 minutes). Listen to the full show.



Dan Gilmartin


Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.

Audio (length: 1:00 minutes) League CEO Dan Gilmartin discusses this very special edition of the Prosperity Agenda coming from the League’s Convention in Grand Rapids during ArtPrize.


Co-host George Heartwell


George Heartwell took office as Mayor of Grand Rapids in January 2004 and continues to serve in this position. The City of Grand Rapids was named the most sustainable mid-sized city in the United States. Heartwell credits this to a “triple bottom line of economic strength, environmental stewardship and social equity.” He will discuss the things Grand Rapid has done right to create a community people want to live, work and play in.

Audio (length: 7:20 minutes). The Grand Rapids mayor since 2004 has most recently focused on green initiatives and is now enjoying an economic recovery driven by a technology-focused type manufacturing as well as medical research and higher education.


Bill Anderson


Bill Anderson was the founding director of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries and served in the cabinets of governors John Engler and Jennifer Granholm. Anderson has chaired numerous economic development organizations and facilitated the development of strategic plans for many organizations. He is the author/editor of nine books, including books about the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team. Anderson will discuss his work with organizations and communities to deploy their cultural resources in the name of economic growth.

Audio (length: 11:21 minutes). He gives examples where cultural economic development is working in Michigan. One example that may surprise some people is the City of Detroit.


Lou Glazer


Lou Glazer is President and co-founder of Michigan Future, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Michigan Future’s mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Glazer will discuss community attachment and why this matters to a region’s economic growth.

Audio (length: 10:15 minutes). He discusses some updates to the 5-year-old plan called a New Agenda for a New Michigan created by Michigan Future Inc. The states that are the most prosperous have four main characteristics, but the most important statistic involves the percentage of residents with a four-year degree. It’s an area where Michigan must improve to prosper.


Christy Summers


Christy Summers is a landscape architect and principal at Beckett & Raeder, Inc. in Ann Arbor. She has been involved in placemaking through downtown revitalization and streetscape projects for communities in Michigan and Ohio, as well as parks and recreation projects for local and state agencies across Michigan. She will discuss why these projects are important to the economic future of this state.   


Audio (length: 7:58 minutes). Christy explains how a physical design of a community can help make it economically competitive. Specifically, she discusses a project in Dexter that has dramatically improved the community leading to increased property values and population.


Sept. 26, 2011: How will Michigan’s foreclosure crisis impact the state’s future prosperity

August 24, 2011: League Releasing Book Emphasizing Quality of Place

July 27, 2011: What's Happening in Detroit and Other Communities to Make Michigan Better

June 22, 2011: What's Happening in Detroit and Other Communities to Make Michigan Better

May 25, 2011: Why Transit Matter's to Michigan's Future Prosperity

April 27, 2011: Why Place Matters to Michigan's Future Prosperity

Mar. 23, 2011: Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget and what it means for Michigan

Feb. 23, 2011: Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed state budget and the potential impact on Michigan cities

Jan 26, 2011: New leadership and the impact on jobs, education and quality of life

Dec 23, 2010: Why Higher Education is Among Main Pillars for Building Michigan's Future

Nov 24, 2010: New Leadership and the Impact on Jobs, Education and Quality of Life

Oct 20, 2010: Michigan Governor Candidates Talk Cities

Sept 23, 2010: Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

Aug 25, 2010: Green Initiatives

July 28, 2010: Economic Gardening

June 23, 2010: Rightsizing Cities

May 26, 2010: Attracting and Retaining Talented Young People

Apr 28, 2010: The New Urban Neighborhood

Mar 24, 2010: Arts, Entertainment and Culture

Feb 24, 2010: Talking Transit

Jan 27, 2010: Making a Better Michigan





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