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PlacePlans is a joint effort between Michigan State University and the Michigan Municipal League, funded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) through the MIPlace initiative, to help communities design and plan for transformative placemaking projects. Successful placemaking is a dynamic, strategic approach to community development and economic revitalization based on an individual community’s strengths within core “quality of life” areas.  With a comprehensive understanding of a community’s place-based assets, and the tools and strategies to best leverage them, a successful “PlacePlan” can develop.

The PlacePlans process is customized to each project and community, but each involves an intensive community engagement strategy, including a public visioning session, several public meetings to provide specific input and feedback on plans and designs, and direct work with key community stakeholders along the way. The PlacePlan projects will positively impact each community’s ability to leverage their place-based assets as economic drivers, and will provide lessons large and small for communities across Michigan.

Final PlacePlan Reports

Listed below, in alphabetical order, are the PlacePlans we have worked on to date. Click on the city name to access the final report.

2015 PlacePlans

Cities marked with an asterisk in the following list are currently involved in the PlacePlans process and will have final reports by the end of 2015. Their pages will show you the PlacePlans process in action throughout the year. Those cites are Benton Harbor, Boyne City, Farmington/Farmington Hills, Lathrup Village, Monroe, Niles, Saginaw, and Traverse City.

Please visit often to see the work in progress, and follow along through our placemaking blog, and the League’s social networks – Twitter and Facebook.


NOTE: Population figures are from the 2010 U.S. Census. They are intended to give you a general idea of the size of the city.

Allegan (population 4.998):  Downtown riverfront redevelopment
Alpena (population 10,483): Public plaza
*Benton Harbor (population 10,038): Public plaza
Berkley (population 14,970): Pop-up placemaking
*Boyne City (population 3,735) : Waterfront redevelopment
Cadillac (population 10,355): Public plaza
Dearborn (population 98,153): Transit-oriented development
Detroit (population 713,777): Brownfield redevelopment
*Farmington/Farmington Hills (population 90,112): Creating neighborhood nodes
Flint (population 102,434): Multi-modal greenway
Holland (population 33,051): Food innovation district
Jackson (population 33,534): Pedestrian Alley
Kalamazoo (population 74,262): Healthy living campus
*Lathrup Village (population 4,075):  City-center retrofit
Marquette (population 21,355): Downtown gateway
Midland (population 41,863): Farmer’s market
*Monroe (population 20,733): Pedestrian alley
*Niles (population 11,600): Downtown riverfront redevelopment
*Saginaw (population 51,508): Asset inventory and strategic prioritization
Sault Sainte Marie (population 14,144): Pedestrian alley
*Traverse City (population 14,674): Public park space redevelopment
Utica (population 4,757): “Downtown Business Passport”

2015 PlacePlans Media Coverage