Interim Director’s Message
Dr. Scott G. Witter
MSU Professor, Interim Director of the MSU Land Policy Institute, and Director of the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction
Welcome to the Land Policy Institute at
Michigan State University
The Land Policy Institute is a unique university-based organization devoted to basic and applied research, as well as outreach and community engagement in the critical areas of land use, land policy and strategic regional planning. As a basic resource of society, land and its management by society has become key in shaping the future of our communities, states and nation, including such fundamental building blocks as housing and mixed-use, access to food, transportation, energy production, entrepreneurship, recreation, water quality, access to amenities, service sharing, community development in both urban and rural areas, natural resources, placemaking, walkability, and sustainable community infrastructure.
Our agenda is set on a set of clearly defined research and outreach priorities. A critical step has been to create clear and mutually beneficial partnerships with our sister centers and institutes at MSU that are working in land policy issues related to sustainable urban and rural environments. At the same time, we will faculty from key departments and schools to help facilitate research and the submission of relevant external grants. Our stakeholders are critical to how we focus our research and outreach missions, which we feel are crucial to address societal issues in Michigan, the nation and globally framed in the context of sustainable urban and rural environments.
Our work builds on research and outreach programs, projects and initiatives at LPI that have focused on place and placemaking, walkability and other relevant policy alternatives that have reflected the core of our work.
- Our Land Policy Research Program has been integral to bringing cutting-edge research to the masses, including the widely-read Rebuilding Prosperous Places Studies (2012 and 2014 reports) and the recent release of the Northwest Michigan Seasonal Population Analysis.
- Our Planning & Zoning Center, led by LPI Senior Associate Director Mark Wyckoff, continues to provide integral and timely outreach to the community. The highly recommended and popular annual Zoning Administrator Certificate Program has helped prepare many ZA’s to effectively lead their communities. Currently, the Center is working to complete several new products in support of the efforts of State agencies and the MIPlace Partnership Initiative with LPI’s partners at the Michigan Municipal League, MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction faculty and students, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Some of the products under development this year with our partners include a new Placemaking Guidebook, development of Placemaking Curriculum version 5.0, Placemaking Curriculum training opportunities, such as the statewide , a Placemaking Assessment Tool, a WalkUP Studies Analysis, a Placemaking Score and Tool, PlacePlans and a Regional Prosperity Plan Analysis.
We are very proud of our past work and excited to help build capacity at MSU, and together tackle the wicked problems that face us all. We seek to continue this work and make a meaningful impact on the State of Michigan and our stakeholders.
We welcome input that will make LPI more relevant and help us build the new partnerships.