April 6, 2017

Automated driving round-up

I've had a firehose-drinking few weeks of thinking about how connected and automated driving could affect our communities. "Could" remains the operative word, at least for self-driving cars, since the buzz still outweighs the reality by a significant factor. "Gartner's…
March 13, 2017

Create a spark for arts in your community

March is Arts Advocacy Month, and Creative Many Michigan is encouraging people to help "create the spark" for arts.  The organization is celebrating "the impact of arts and creativity in Michigan," and highlighting the "critical importance of the arts, not…
March 8, 2017

Valentines for Vacant Properties

For Valentine's Day this year, the Young Preservationists of the Great Lakes Bay delivered valentines to their favorite vacant historic properties in Bay City and Saginaw, hoping to draw some attention to these buildings-and perhaps ultimately a soulmate who could…
February 24, 2017

Instant town square: just add picnic tables

Milan's downtown Tolan Square is a great example of tactical placemaking. Two summers ago, the city turned a piece of this street into a plaza with nothing more than a few heavy planters at each end and some picnic tables.…
February 16, 2017

New MSHDA Grant to Fund Neighborhood Placemaking

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) recently announced a request for proposals (RFP) for a new "Neighborhood Enhancement Program" that provides communities an opportunity to fund placemaking projects in priority neighborhoods. MSHDA worked with the League and other statewide partners…
February 10, 2017

Rebuilding local manufacturing, one job at a time

Many of our communities are identified by what they make-my hometown of Chelsea is instantly identifiable as the home of Jiffy Mix-but for too many, that identity is past tense: the plant closed, and they don't make that anymore. The…
January 19, 2017

Learning from Dig Jackson’s Success

This week, the League released the latest issue of our Review magazine. I'm proud to announce that it includes a new feature, "PlacePlans: Where Are They Now?", which gives us an opportunity to check in with some of the cities…
December 19, 2016

Vancouver Revisited

I first visited Vancouver for a few days of vacation in 2012.  It is a place that I've always known that I would return to. That opportunity arose when I was asked to attend the Placemaking Leadership Forum conference in…
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