Effective Civic Engagement and other “How-To” Guides

May 01, 2015
Michigan Municipal League

Effective Civic Engagement is a key element in community improvement. Involving residents in placemaking discussions and decisions helps ensure successful projects throughout the implementation process.  This guide offers best practices and examples from the Michigan HUD Sustainable Communities.  Investing in communities is critical to long-term economic development, and Michigan’s future depends on its ability to attract and retain active, diverse and engaged residents. Local governments must foster the dynamics of place to become thriving communities in the 21st century.

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Please register for the 2015 Michigan Creative Educators Summit!

May 01, 2015

A great event that celebrates Michigan K-12 innovation and creativity. The theme of this year's Summit is "Merging the Worlds of Business and Education" to create more learning opportunities for students. Also, the inaugural 2015 Michigan Innovative Educator Awards will be given to recognize the outstanding contributions by educators inside and outside the K-12 system. Teachers are encouraged to bring up to ten students for free! Please register and help spread the word:


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The Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns

April 23, 2015

New analysis and webinar: The Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns

To what degree does the choice of development pattern impact costs for a local government? How do these decisions affect municipal budgets and revenues, or the cost of infrastructure and services that the municipality must provide? The Fiscal Implications of Development Patterns, a new analytical model from Smart Growth America and real estate advisors RCLCO, is designed to help municipal leaders answer these questions. As a part of the kickoff, Smart Growth America presented the new resource at an event in Madison, WI and a recorded version of the presentation is now available.

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Place - Business - Talent Connection Presentations

April 22, 2015

Place - Business - Talent logo

The Michigan Sense of Place Council's (SOP) Entrepreneurship Workshop wants to spread the news regarding Place - Business - Talent connection and put forward a presentation at your next event. The understanding of the intimate connections among entrepreneurs, communities, and talented individuals around the state can be summarized quite easily, as shown in the diagram below.

The following letter template from Robert Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) and member of the Sense of Place (SOP) Council and chair of the Council’s Entrepreneurship Workgroup shares the Council’s insights and proposes a presentation that can be made to your business group. Letter Template


Land Policy Institute releases Placemaking Assessment Tool

April 15, 2015
Michigan State University - Land Policy Institute

The MSU Land Policy Institute has released a Placemaking Assessment Tool (PAT) that will continue to help communities develop quality places that are attractive and functional in Michigan. This tool is a deliverable from LPI in partnership with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The purpose of placemaking is to create quality places where people want to live, work, play, learn and visit. Effective placemaking creates or restores a higher quality living environment in key parts of a community through urban development or redevelopment and provides a wider range of living, transportation, entertainment, recreation and related options to existing and new residents in (and visitors to) communities.

The tool was created for use by planners, local governments, elected officials, neighborhood associations, civic organizations, consultants, etc.

Placemaking involves government, the business community, stakeholders and citizens. The interplay of all these participants along with the PAT will help guide communities to create quality places across Michigan. 

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