Remember the saying from Hillary Clinton (and title of her book) that it takes a village to raise a child? The phrase “it takes a village” has become a colloquial phrase for anything that takes a group effort. As I think of what it takes to create great places, it definitely takes a village. In the local government world in … Read More
Better Communities Better Michigan will help create and maintain vibrant communities in Michigan by funding placemaking projects and through education to community leaders and advocates. We recognize that communities are economic drivers, so the Foundation plays a key role in connecting communities to opportunities to help them grow and thrive.
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When we started talking about placemaking at the Michigan Municipal League a few years ago, nobody disagreed with us on the importance of vibrant communities. It’s intuitive to want to live in a great place with a walkable downtown, public transit, parks, and an educated and talented workforce. Five or six years ago, however, nobody really connected the fact that … Read More
We represent a lot of really great communities in Michigan, and it’s always fun when one of them is honored for being awesome. Last week Budget Travel named the City of Allegan in West Michigan one of its ten Coolest Small Towns of 2015. What a great recognition of a vibrant community! Budget Travel defines “cool” an “energetic vibe that … Read More
Last year I read the book Happy City by Charles Montgomery, a book that examines happiness based on the design of where one lives. It didn’t take my getting too far into the book to realize that living in neighborhoods without places to which one can walk makes people less happy. They spend more time in their cars and have … Read More
I’m not an urban planner, but I like to pretend I am. Or could be. I read a lot about planning and design, and I not so secretly want to be part of the club. Then I realize that not being part of the club is what makes me look at community projects with fresh eyes. Three years ago the … Read More
Why do people love where they live? Each person has different reasons, yet I’m certain there are common themes. Here are some of the reasons why I love where I live: I can walk to work, my son’s daycare, restaurants, a farmer’s market, and church. There is a river trail where I run just down the street from my house. … Read More