A rendering for the long-term vision for Capitol Park as outlined Thursday by Dan Gilbert. Source: Quicken Loans and the Detroit Free Press.
Quicken Loans Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert announced his continuing commitment to revitalizing Detroit at an “Opportunity Detroit” event Thursday, that included Fred Kent of Project for Public Spaces. The plans, which included an announcement of a Papa Joe’s grocery store opening in the heart of downtown, are very consistent with the League’s placemaking message. In fact, a good portion of the two-hour session had Kent discussing the elements of placemaking and how to create lively urban places to live, work and play.
Kent told the audience at the event that Detroit has major assets and a passion for redevelopment that he has not see elsewhere, according to a Detroit Free Press article by John Gallagher.
"Downtown Detroit’s geographic location and particularly the half mile from the Detroit River to Grand Cricus Park is the most concentrated diversity of urban assets and placemaking opportunities anywhere in the world,” Kent said.
Many of the changes envision for downtown Detroit are reminiscent of a European capital, including sidewalk cafes, retail kiosks, food stands in parks, lawn games, beach volleyball in parks, traffic-calming devices such as raised crosswalks, retail storefronts open to the sidewalk, boutique hotels and pedestrian walks protected from traffic. They also called for a narrowing of Jefferson Avenue near Hart Plaza because the current eight-lane boulevard leaves a feeling of disconnect between downtown the Detroit Rivewalk. This narrowing of major roads is also something League CEO Dan Gilmartin has called for in his Economics of Place blog.
Media reports from the Opportunity Detroit event were truly exciting and League members will get to see many of these changes taking place first hand when they attend the League's 2013 Convention in Detroit this September. Learn more about our event here.
"We're all in," Gilbert told an audience of about 400 business and civic leaders invited to the City Theatre at the Hockeytown Café. "It's more than fluff ... A big chunk of this is going to happen this summer. It's agreed, funded."
Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at email@example.com or (734) 669-6317.
Another rendering of Detroit's future. Source: Quicken Loans and the Detroit Free Press.
"Detroit Matters" - that’s the straight forward headline on the cover of the Michigan Municipal League’s most recent edition of the Review Magazine. The March/April 2013 magazine, available for free online here, is all about Detroit and why Detroit should matter to the rest of Michigan. The cover story focuses on John George and his Motor City Blight Busters program (pages 24-27).
Other highlights in the issue include:
- A column by League CEO Dan Gilmartin that explains how Detroit is Michigan’s beating heart (page 5);
- Q&A articles with people living in Detroit and why they chose to move there in recent years (pages 8-10);
- The revitalization of Clark Park (pages 12-14);
- A feature article on Recycle Here!, Detroit’s grassroots recycling program (pages 16-18);
- A look at several of Detroit’s social entrepreneurs, including Ponyride.org; GreenGarageDetroit.com; DetroitSoup.com; HatchDetroit.com (pages 19-21);
- A first-hand account of volunteering at Cass Community Social Services (pages 34-35);
"Our Review magazine often has articles related to Detroit, but this is the first time in recent history where an entire issue was devoted to Detroit,” said League CEO Daniel Gilmartin. “Our 2013 Convention is taking place in Detroit in September and we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the positive people, places and things in our state’s largest city. This issue of the magazine gives our members and the general public a glimpse of what they might see if they come to our Convention in September or simply visit Detroit.”
So why does Detroit Matter? Gilmartin explains it best in his column at the start of the magazine. Here’s a segment: “Imagine your body without your heart. Sure, maybe some fancy life support machine could keep your arms, legs and gut technically alive. But you certainly won’t grow and thrive. … Detroit is the beating heart that’s big enough and strong enough to keep Michigan’s lifeblood flowing. A state’s major metropolitan area is also its calling card to the rest of the world. It is the magnet that draws people and business, the face of our cultural coin. … Help us make Detroit a place that matters, so that Michigan will matter, too."
The League’s March/April Review Magazine was mailed out to subscribers this week. The print version of this magazine goes to more than 8,500 municipal leaders – mayors, city council, city managers, municipal staff – as well as state and federal politicians, numerous state agencies, and others interested in community placemaking efforts. The bimonthly magazine also is posted on the web here.
Matt Bach is the League's director of media relations. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Gilmartin and Natalie Burg talk about aging in place on the Prosperity Agenda radio show.
From now until 2030, AARP predicts all 50 states will see a “rapid acceleration in growth” in their elderly populations as baby boomers turn 65.
During this month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR the Michigan Municipal League's Dan Gilmartin and guests talk about retiring baby boomers and the unprecedented opportunity they bring to cities and downtowns ready to accommodate them.
Several Michigan communities, such as Marquette, Holland and Howell, are already recognized for meeting this challenge and becoming thriving environments for retirees. The show airs 7 p.m. Wednesday on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen to the show anytime here on our website or by podcast here. You can register now for the Age-Friendly Communities Conference coming Feb 28 to UM-Ann Arbor.
The host of the show is League CEO Dan Gilmartin and his co-host for this first show of 2013 is Natalie Burg, a writer and owner of Vial Half Full Communications. Natalie is a former Downtown Development Director in Owosso and now writes about cities, placemaking and downtowns for numerous outlets including Metromode and Ann Arbor’s Concentrate. Our other guests are Marquette City Manager Bill Vajda, Barbara Spreitzer-Berent, an urban planner and gerontologist who serves as volunteer state coordinator for health and supportive services for AARP Michigan; and Joe Borgstrom, director of downtown and community services division for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The 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 airs on News/Talk 760 WJR on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and (734) 669-6317.