One of several Old Town Lansing photos used in the On Common Ground article.
There’s a fantastic article about placemaking in Michigan in the summer, 2013 issue of On Common Ground magazine put out by the National Association of Realtors. The “A Case for Place” article highlights the work of the Michigan Association of Realtors in this effort and lays out many of the pro-placemaking arguments the Michigan Municipal League has been stating for years now.
In fact, the article uses many of the photos taken by the League, in particular several shots of the placemaking examples in Old Town Lansing. The article explains that it made perfect sense for the Realtors Association to get involved in placemaking because it begins at the community level and “after all, Realtors are the eyes and ears of communities.”
“Real estate is local,” stated Kathie Feklpausch, senior vice president of the Michigan Association of Realtors, in the article. “Realtors are in the neighborhood all the time and are aware of or directly involved with the groups doing these projects. They sell place.”
That makes sense to those of us at the League. The article goes on to explain that placemaking is essential for real estate and that the state of Michigan has recognized the importance of creating and maintaining great places. The article also discussed how the Michigan Association of Realtors has adopted the Lighter Quicker Cheaper concept promoted by the Project for Public Spaces organization.
Read the full article here.
Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and email@example.com.
Bikes Belong, a national organization that promotes more bicycling, is accepting applications until May 24 for Community Partnership Grants, which are designed to foster and support partnerships between local governments, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses working to improve the environment for bicycling.
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to fund the construction or expansion of bicycle facilities such as bike lanes trails, and paths. The grants committee also will consider advocacy projects that promote bicycling as a safe and accessible mode of transportation.
To be eligible for a grant, a partnership must include collaboration between at least one city/county government office or department; one nonprofit organization with a mission specific to bicycling, trails, or recreation; and one local business.
Luke Forrest is a Project Coordinator for the Michigan Municipal League. Contact him via email or Twitter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does this pony in a cow costume make you smile? View more photos.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Building great communities is more about putting smiles on people’s faces than it is fixing potholes. Yes, pothole repair is important, but seeing a child laugh at a pony dressed up as a cow in a downtown parade or eating a formal dinner on a bridge with friends can be ever-lasting memories.
This was the message by placemaking expert Peter Kageyama in an education session on citizen engagement Friday, Jan. 18, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League headquarters in Ann Arbor. Kageyama spoke to about 20 southeast Michigan community leaders as part of a series of training weeks being offered by the League. He explained that the key to creating vibrant communities is finding what people love about their city and town and then building upon that.
He gave examples of a farming community that has a parade of cows and a river-community that turns a pedestrian foot-bridge into an elegant dinner to raise funds for the local chamber of commerce. The training week concept is a new service the League is providing to bring our vast array of education offerings to various parts of the state. League members and non-members can register for a whole week of trainings or pick and choose the topics that interest them. The first training week was this week and the next training week is Feb. 14-15 in Frankenmuth. Go here for details.
All the education sessions are excellent, but hearing Kageyama, of Florida, is a special treat in such a small setting. He often speaks around the world to large groups. If you missed him Friday he’s speaking again during training weeks in Kalamazoo, March 13-15; Lansing, April 24-26; and Mackinaw City, May 15-17; and Muskegon, June 5-7. Other topics planned at the training week sessions include the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) parliamentary procedure, municipal finance, service consolidation and shared services, and engaging your citizen change makers. You can register for the sesions here.
View additional photos from the training week in Ann Arbor here and here.
Matt Bach is the League's director of media relations. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and email@example.com.
Peter Kageyama talks about citizen engagement at a Michigan Municipal League training session Friday, January 18, 2013. View more photos.