There’s the typical community visioning session, and then there’s a truly visionary community event. I’ve talked a lot about the League’s PlacePlans program, and one of our 2015 PlacePlans cities is Benton Harbor in Southwest Michigan. Benton Harbor is a community of just over 10,000 people nestled on the St. Joseph River only a few miles from the Lake Michigan … Read More
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation 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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In a 21st century network of communities and great places, arts and culture are critical. I remember when I started lobbying seven years ago I was told that placemaking (to include arts and culture) was “fluff”. Now we know that creating great places, ones that are rich in cultural opportunities, is key to economic success. Young, talented people want to … Read More
Yesterday I came across a Wall Street Journal article about the Mayor of Jersey City, Steve Fulop, proposing to limit chain stores in downtown neighborhoods. It is an interesting debate that has me thinking about the evolution of shopping and its boomerang impact on communities. I remember being a kid in my small town of 400 people. We didn’t have … Read More
The last two weeks have been b-a-n-a-n-a-s (in a good way). One of my favorite things about working for the Michigan Municipal League Foundation is traveling to different places and working with communities on projects and programs. I’ve been from Michigan’s east coast to west coast and back again several times in the last few weeks, and it’s been awesome. … Read More
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
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