Advocacy Blue Arrows

Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Overcoming Obstacles to Make Placemaking Happen

When it comes to creating 21st century communities, we often know what a successful community looks like, but communities can face many hurdles to creating the actual places they want to be, whether those challenges are financial or the result of poor public policy.

On this month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR we’re discussing some of those hurdles and what can be done to eliminate them so Michigan residents and visitors can enjoy communities that are unique and interesting places to live. Cities are striving to embrace the amenities residents want today, whether that’s walkability, better schools, arts and culture programs, good access to high-speed Internet, or an openness to entrepreneurs.

My co-host for this show is the Michigan Municipal League’s Luke Forrest, program manager and placemaking expert. We are joined by Robert Kleine, partner with Great Lakes Economic Consulting and former Michigan treasurer; Steve Maun, a developer working in Detroit on the Wurlitzer Hotel development; Fenton Mayor Sue Osborn and Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland.

THIS MONTH’S SHOW airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can listen by clicking the links below. Listen as we talk about the upcoming conference and how to build better Michigan communities.

View past radio shows here. You can also listen anytime by clicking on the audio links below or by subscribing to the FREE iTunes podcast. Learn more about the League’s placemaking work here on this blog.

Listen to the full show: (37:50)



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. (1:06)


Luke Forrest

Luke Forrest is a Program Manager for the Michigan Municipal League, focusing on issues related to community planning, walkability, public transportation and environmental sustainability. He represents the League on a number of statewide committees and boards. Placemaking is passion for Luke and he frequently travels throughout the state helping communities make placemaking happen.

- What is placemaking and what are the four main obstacles to doing placemaking in communities? Luke explains. (7:01)

Chuck Marohn

Robert Kleine

Robert Kleine is a partner at Great Lakes Economic Consulting and was the state treasurer of Michigan until January 1, 2011. He was appointed by Governor Granholm in April 2006. He was formerly vice president and senior economist at Public Sector Consultants, where he was employed for 16 years. Kleine has extensive experience in analyzing public policy issues, state and local government budgets, economic forecasting, tax policy analysis, and school organization and finance. He recently penned a column in the Washington Post titled “Rick Snyder isn’t the only Michigan leader who abandoned Flint; Decades of hostility toward cities led to the water crisis.

- Who was the last Michigan governor who really seemed concerned about Michigan’s cities? Kleine gives an answer that may surprise you. (10:00)

Marcus Peccia

Steve Maun

Detroit native Steve Maun manages the local development processes in Detroit related to the Wurlitzer Hotel development, bringing extensive experience in master planning, financing and development of urban renewal projects. Steve previously ran his development firm, LeylandAlliance LLC, which focuses on neighborhood revitalization in cities and towns, often in partnership with the public sector.

- Some people see negativity when talking or thinking about Detroit, but Maun sees opportunity. Hear him explain. (10:09)

Joe Borgstrom

Lynn Markland and Sue Osborn

Sue Osborn has over thirty-one years of experience as a municipal official, serving as the mayor of the City of Fenton for the last eighteen. She is a member of the Michigan Association of Mayors and is also active in several local and regional civic organizations. She currently serves as vice-chair of the National League of Cities Finance Committee. Lynn Markland is in his 30th year as a City Manager having served the cities of Sandusky and Durand, Michigan, before beginning his service to the City of Fenton in 2008. Lynn is a former board member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, the Michigan Local Government Management Association and is a member of the International City/County Management Association.

- Hear Sue and Lynn discuss some of the obstacles their community has overcome in making multiple positive developments happen in their city in southern Genesee County. (9:31)


Jan 27, 2016: Making the most of Michigan winters

Dec 23, 2015: Connecting Michigan Through Higher Education

Nov 25, 2015: Striving for a Welcoming & Diverse Michigan Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

Oct 29, 2015: A Look at Making Walkable, Pedestrian-Friendly Communities in Michigan

Sept 23, 2015: Program Aims To Make Cities More Attractive and Livable

Aug 26, 2015: Philanthropy Making a Difference in Michigan Communities

July 22, 2015: Festivals Helping Create Sense of Place in Our Communities

June 24, 2015: Michigan is Redeveloping its Way to Economic Vibrancy

May 27, 2015: Farmers Markets Helping Michigan’s Communities, Economys

April 22, 2015: Building Better Communities

March 25, 2015: A Conversation with Governor Snyder about Proposal 1 Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

Feb 25, 2015: What Made You Fall in Love with Your Michigan Community?

Jan 28, 2015: Attracting and Retaining Talent Vital to Michigan’s Future

Dec 29, 2014: Strong Town Strength Test

Nov 26, 2014: Crowdfunding Efforts Helping to Move Michigan Forward

Oct 22, 2014: Placemaking Stories Detailed in New League Book

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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