Placemaking Catches Fire in Michigan

A new set of survey results from the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy details a big increase in the use of placemaking as a core economic development strategy in Michigan communities.   This is great news for the state, the communities and the people of Michigan.

Tom Ivacko, administrator and program manager for the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy stated in a recent press release, “In placemaking, communities use what they have whether it’s arts, cultural amenities, parks, architectural design, lakes or walkable streets to create a strong bond between people and the places they live.”

Survey results of local officials show the following:

The poll, part of the Michigan Public Policy Survey series at CLOSUP, reports:

  • Fifty-one percent of Michigan’s local leaders say they believe placemaking can be effective in their jurisdictions, compared to 39 percent who reported confidence in placemaking’s effectiveness in 2009.
  • Local leaders see links between placemaking and entrepreneurship, but say they face barriers to attracting more entrepreneurs, including access to capital (72 percent), unappealing buildings and landscape design (29 percent), deteriorating infrastructure (27 percent), lack of late night entertainment (26 percent) and information technology infrastructure (21 percent).
  • Jurisdictions in Southeast Michigan (55 percent) were the most likely to pursue placemaking in 2013, followed by those in the Upper Peninsula (37 percent), the Northern Lower Peninsula (33 percent), the Southwest and West Central Lower Peninsula (each at 29 percent), and the East Central Lower Peninsula (25 percent).
houghton hancock

The cities of Houghton and Hancock

The results are positive and a boost for the many partners who have been pushing the message and providing direction (MSHDA, MEDC, Michigan Association of Realtors, MSU, U-M, Wayne State, Grand Valley State MI-CNU, Michigan Association of Planning, MTA, PPS, to name just a few).  As the state’s economy begins to turn the corner, Michigan is repositioning itself as an economic powerhouse for the new millennium.

Let’s keep moving forward!

For more on placemaking in Michigan, visit our webpage.