Advocacy Blue Arrows


Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Placemaking Stories Detailed in New League Book

Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

radioshowYou ever say to yourself, “Man, I got so many good stories I should write a book?” Well, that’s exactly what the Michigan Municipal League said when hearing of all the amazing placemaking work happening in our communities. So we did it – we wrote a book. The League’s October Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR focuses on our new book, The Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities. Learn more about the book at and you can buy it here. (

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).

THIS MONTH’S SHOW airs at 7 p.m., October 22 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can listen by clicking the links below. Listen as we talk about how the book got started, what’s in it and how it will inspire you.

View past radio shows here.

Listen to the full show: (37:51)


Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains that the Prosperity Agenda radio show is about challenging listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play. Gilmartin said having vibrant and prosperous local communities is a key factor.

- Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (56 seconds)

Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Chastity Pratt Dawsey is a writer for Bridge Magazine. She spent more than a decade at the Detroit Free Press and is a Detroit native. She discusses some of her placemaking-focus work with Bridge, including an in-depth piece on Gary Heidel, chief placemaking officer at MSHDA.

- Pratt Dawsey has a great take on placemaking and feels no matter what the size or shape of the community, placemaking comes down to one essential question. Listen to find out what question that is. (6:53)


Elizabeth Philips Foley

Elizabeth Phillips Foley is co-author of the League’s new book, The Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities. Liz discusses the League’s first book, The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People, and how this new book is different. She explains the League’s first book explained the “what” and “whys” of placemaking and this new book tells the stories of placemaking in action.

- Liz discusses how some of the stories in the book show the positive economic impact placemaking can play in a community. (9:43)


Chuck Eckenstahler

Chuck Eckenstahler is a local planning consultant and placemaking expert who was heavily involved in a project in Baroda that is prominently featured in the book. The Village of Baroda is a small community in Berrien County, Michigan. Chuck was a key consultant on that project and had worked with Berrien County for more than 40 years. He explains the transition Baroda went through – going from a tiny village struggling to find the resources to survive to becoming the heart of wine country.

- Listen to Chuck tell the amazing comeback story of “Bill’s Tap and Restaurant” as an example of the entire area’s turnaround. (10:11)


Jermaine Ruffin

Jermaine Ruffin is currently a Placemaking Policy Specialist with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). He is responsible for the implementation of MSHDA Placemaking policy, development consulting and interagency project facilitation for communities statewide. Jermaine talks about how agritourism is highlighted in the League’s new book and why this industry is so important to the state.

- Why should people buy and read the League’s new book? Jermaine has the answer. (10:08)


Sept 24, 2014: The Economic Development Role that Arts and Culture Play in a Community

Aug 27, 2014: The Economic Development Role that Arts and Culture Play in a Community

July 23, 2014: What We Can Do to Make Michigan More Immigrant-Friendly

June 25, 2014: Placemaking and Michigan's Aging Population

May 28, 2014: A Conversation from the National Main Streets Conference in Detroit!

April 23, 2014: Revenue Sharing and the Importance of Investing in Communities

Mar 26, 2014: Crowdfunding Movement; Making a Better Michigan

Feb 26, 2014:Placemaking is a vital part of making our state prosperous again

Jan. 22, 2014:Jobs, jobs and more jobs

Dec. 20, 2013:“PlacePlans” effort taking hold and improving communities across the state

Nov. 27, 2013:The National Media’s Perspective on What is Happening in Detroit

Oct. 23, 2013:The League’s efforts toward an urban policy agenda that moves Michigan toward prosperity

Sept. 25, 2013:Strategic lessons on placemaking from the League’s annual conference in Detroit

Aug. 21, 2013:Michigan’s Port Communities – a Vital Element in the State’s Economic Prosperity

July. 24, 2013:Michigan cities and downtown centers experiencing population growth despite challenges

June. 26, 2013:Complete Streets – Designing roadways to accommodate all users, not just motorists

May. 22, 2013:Engaging citizens is vital to creating prosperous communities

Apr. 24, 2013: Repurposing Property Through Private and Public Partnerships to Revitalize Communities

Mar. 27, 2013: Town-Gown Partnerships Between Cities and Universities Helping to Move State Forward

Feb. 27, 2013: Retiring Baby Boomers Provide Opportunity to Communities

Jan. 23, 2013: Aging in Place

Dec. 26, 2012: Placemaking in Michigan – A Year in Review

Nov. 26, 2012: What is Placemaking and What is MSHDA’s Role in It?

Oct. 24, 2012: Embracing Green Technology in Neighborhood Revitalization

Sept. 26, 2012: Entrepreneurs are Key to Economic Turnaround

August 22, 2012: The MIplace Partnership Initiative Improving Cities and Neighborhoods

July 25, 2012: Arts and Culture Important to Placemaking

June 27, 2012: Entrepreneurs Key to Thriving Michigan Communities

May 23, 2012: Attracting Talent Key to Michigan's Future

April 25, 2012: How Do We Bring it Back to Michigan?

March 28, 2012: Vibrant Michigan Downtowns Good for Business

Feb. 18, 2012: Making Our State More Sustainable

Jan. 25, 2012: The Benefits of Federal Funding for Neighborhood Stabilization

Dec. 29, 2011: The Year in Review

Nov. 27, 2011: Transportation in the State and the Role it Plays in Michigan's Future Economic Prosperity

Oct. 26, 2011: League’s Recently Released Book Emphasizes Quality of Place to Michigan’s Economic Prosperity

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 Budget and the Potential Impact on Michigan Cities

Jan 26, 2011: Civic Engagement and Getting People Involved in the Community

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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