City, Village Leaders Gather in Detroit

The Renaissance Center in Detroit, site of the MML Convention

The Renaissance Center in Detroit, site of the MML Convention

The Michigan Municipal League will be in Detroit all week for its annual convention. There will be a number of eye opening events that capture the spirit of the city and the challenges that it faces. Local officials from all over the state will also engage one another on best practices and hot topics.  Important matters like downtown redevelopment, taxation, community design, and infrastructure trends are on the agenda. I will provide updates on this blog as the event progresses. If you want to view a conference agenda go here. If you want to follow the events on Twitter check out the hash tag #mmlconv.



  • League president David Lossing, mayor of Linden, introduced the Partnership for Place agenda, a proactive set of policy objectives to make Michigan and its communities competitive in the 21st Century.
  • A food truck rally and a follow-up seminar on how best to employ them in cities were held today. Food trucks are providing high energy in big cities and small towns alike. The rally was held in Milliken State Park on the Detroit River, just a short stroll from the center of downtown.
  • It seems every time I speak with Sean Mann about what is happening ‘on the ground’ in Detroit I learn something new and useful. Sean coordinates the place projects around the state and is a fountain of great information and practical application.
Andres Duany, Keynote Speaker

Andres Duany, Keynote Speaker

  • I spent some time this evening with one of the keynote speakers for tomorrow, Andres Duany. Andres is a father of the new urbanist movement and an internationally acclaimed architect and planner. His views on the historic importance of Michigan cities and their paths toward reinvention are sure to draw attention from the crowd.



  • Busy day in Detroit. A host of mobile workshops showed the attendees an authentic city on the move. A panel of corporate leaders who invested in Detroit told the gathering why the did it. And Andres Duany challenged just about every conventional thought that people had about how to properly manage municipalities, yet still found time to share his thoughts on his experience this week in Detroit (“It’s absolutely eating my brain and blowing my mind”). You can read about it all here.


  • The event wrapped up with a panel discussion about the Detroit bankruptcy. Here is a link to the League’s session blog. There was a huge amount of media coverage of the panel and the press conference that followed. Below are links giving you some insight into the coverage. Special thanks to Frank Shafroth from George Mason University for his research that shows the massive nationwide disinvestment in urban areas and how it is impacting cities throughout the country.–More-proactive-approach-could-have-helped-Detroit-avoid-bankruptcy-filing,0,3879239.story