Press Release on The Book…
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Michigan Municipal League unveiled a new book, The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People, at its annual Convention in Grand Rapids. The book features researchers, entrepreneurs, practitioners and urbanists sharing their perspectives on the importance of place in restoring prosperity to Michigan, League officials said today. Governor Rick Snyder discussed the book during a news conference today at the Convention.
“Neighborhoods, cities and regions are awakening to the importance of place in economic development,” said Gov. Snyder in the comment he provided for the book. “They are planning for a future that recognizes the critical importance of quality of life to attracting talent, entrepreneurship and encouraging local business. Competing for success in a global marketplace means creating places where workers, entrepreneurs and businesses want to locate, invest and expand. For some time now, the League has been promoting the importance of place. The Economics of Place does an excellent job of illustrating the relationship between ‘sense of place’ and economic growth.”
“The Economics of Place illustrates what Michigan must do to create the types of places people want to live, work, play and raise families. A Michigan without those places is a state without the talent necessary to prosper in the new world economy,” said MML Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin. He commended the governor for recognizing the importance of place.
“Governor Snyder has said cut first, balance the budget and then build a prosperous Michigan,” said Gilmartin. “We’ve seen the cuts and now we’ve published this book to outline a path that will guide Michigan to prosperity by creating the desirable communities other more prosperous states have.”
The economic consequences of Michigan’s lack of emphasis on place are dire. The state’s two largest urban areas, Detroit and Grand Rapids, have fallen to 37th and 45th place respectively (out of 51 metro regions nationally) in the number of residents with college degrees. Michigan’s per capita income has plummeted from among the top 10 states to 37th place in 2009. Foreclosure and unemployment rates remain among the highest in the nation.
“Following a path to prosperity by creating desirable communities is essential,” said Gilmartin. “This is a path that will benefit our state’s businesses and industries, involves our public and private institutions, and commands the attention of our elected leaders and news media.”
Also speaking at the news conference was League Board President Carol Shafto, mayor of Alpena, and cultural economic development expert Dr. Bill Anderson. Shafto is quoted in the book and Leinberger is the author of the chapter of the book about “Place Management; Society’s Missing Level of Governance.”
About the MML
The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. For more information, visit www.mml.org.