Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Town-Gown Partnerships Between Cities and Universities Helping to Move State Forward

Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Town-Gown Partnerships Between Cities and Universities Helping to Move State Forward

Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan


The Michigan 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 has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month since 2010.

The hour-long radio program is hosted by Dan Gilmartin, CEO of the Michigan Municipal League (the League). The show is sponsored by the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The show’s topics center around the concept of placemaking. To learn more about placemaking go to Dan’s blog: The Economics of Place, the state’snew placemaking resources website, Miplace.org and check out our book, The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People, available on Amazon.com.

THIS MONTH’S SHOW airs at 7 p.m. March 27 on News/Talk 760 WJR, and you can listen now by clicking the links below. We’ll talk about the concept of “Town Gown” and how cities and higher education institutions can work together to improve the economic vibrancy of the whole community.

View past radio shows here.

Listen to the full show: (37:51)


Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.

Listen to Dan explain what this show is about: (1:16)

Marjory Raymer, Co-host

Marjory Raymer is the news director of the Flint Journal and has worked in Flint since 2000. She discusses the cooperative work happening between the city and its universities, as well as the highlights of relocating the Flint Journal offices to the downtown area.

Listen to Marjory talk about the excitement happening in downtown Flint. Just how many beers on tap can you find in downtown Flint these days? (7:02)


Chris LaGrand

Chris LaGrand is deputy director of housing for the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority. He discusses pending projects in downtown Grand Rapids that are expected to lure thousands of college students and young professionals who desire an urban lifestyle.

LaGrand discusses the various mixed use developments drawing students, special needs residents and others to Grand Rapids. “The secret in Grand Rapids is it’s not just one strategy it’s a whole bunch of different strategies that happen to work synergistically to create an environment that everyone benefits from.” (9:14)


Tony Bosbous

Tony BosBous is mayor of Sault Sainte Marie and he discusses the city’s collaboration with the university leaders at Lake Superior State. This project has allowed the community to meet their goal of “evolving from simply a town with a university into a true university town.”

Mayor Bosbous explains that his city and Lake Superior State University are geographically separately by a large hill, but leaders with both organizations are now developing a plan to work more closely together. (10:04)


David Lossing

David Lossing is mayor of the city of Linden and the president of the League. He discusses the League’s emphasis on the relationship between communities and cities and how it will help move Michigan into the knowledge based economy.

Mayor Lossing says the shifting focus in Michigan from manufacturing-based economic to a knowledge-based economy is vital our state’s future and Town Gown relationships are key to making that happen. (9:44)


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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