This book goes beyond placemaking as a concept, to offer real-world examples of economic drivers and agents of social and cultural change in Michigan’s own backyard. They represent some of the many place-based catalysts that can spark the kind of transformational changes that reinvent and revitalize a community, with tangible payoffs in terms of livability, social and cultural enrichment, and economic development. But most of all, they show us that placemaking is an art not a science, and displays itself in as many shapes, sizes and colors as a community can imagine.

The stories run the gamut from marketing campaigns and municipal projects, to special events and recreational opportunities. Some were large-scale efforts involving significant funds and long-range planning. Others were small ideas that led to big impacts. Some were organized strategies in a larger placemaking vision. In other cases, someone simply wanted to launch a business or improve a community asset that became part of a larger movement – maybe without even realizing that what they were doing was part of this thing we call “placemaking.”

These in-depth case studies are presented as storytelling narratives meant to engage and inspire readers with the power of placemaking. But they are also intended to provide a path to replicate their successes. Each chapter includes valuable resources, data and teaching tools related to the specific topic.  Each chapter will also include case-specific examples of Public Policies and Programs, Legislation, Action Initiatives, Community Partnerships, and Economic Drivers that can facilitate similar efforts.”

Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities is available for purchase here.