The Prosperity Agenda: PlacePlans Providing Roadmap for Michigan Communities

prosperity-agenda-thumbPlacemaking is a dynamic, strategic approach to community development and economic revitalization. Based on an individual community’s strengths, it capitalizes on the distinctive aspects of a community and creates a variety of uses that bring people and places together. Through its PlacePlans program, the Michigan Municipal League is helping cities take steps to improve placemaking. By the end of 2015, 22 cities will have participated in the PlacePlans program and gained a detailed roadmap to transforming one or more key properties in their downtown so they can become communities that offer the amenities, resources, social and professional networks and opportunities to support thriving lifestyles. Already, the contributions to PlacePlans by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Michigan State University and MML have catalyzed $2.2 million in project investment with $178 million in progress. On this month’s Prosperity Agenda radio show, we talk to the people who are involved in the PlacePlans program and how they’re making our cities more attractive and livable. This month’s guests include Luke Forrest, program manager for the League; Paul Barbeau, who is active in PlacePlans work in Midland through his position as Michigan Baseball Foundation vice president and as executive director of the related Momentum Midland efforts; Marja Winters, assistant city manager and director of community and economic development in Benton Harbor; and co-host Christine Ferretti, reporter for The Detroit News. The Michigan Prosperity Agenda is a monthly radio show that challenges listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play by creating vibrant and prosperous local communities. It has aired on News/Talk 760 WJR since 2010. The hour-long radio program is hosted by me, Dan Gilmartin, CEO of the League. The show is sponsored by the League and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The League’s next show airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen anytime at the League’s website or by subscribing to the FREE iTunes podcast. Learn more about the PlacePlans program here as well as on this blog.