Posted on August 31, 2016 11:33am
While some communities may be unaware of the focus of arts and culture in their area, placemaking can be a way to highlight the diverse ways that places of all sizes can find their unique assets and give them an identity. From large, high-traffic places to small rural towns and trails, Creative Placemaking techniques allow communities to add to the sense of place through public art, such as sculptures, murals and more. The Placemaking Guidebook discusses Creative Placemaking in much greater detail, especially Chapter 11, which includes more information about ArtPrize, the “Washington” sculpture and the Trufant Stump Fences). More information on Campus Martius is also available in Chapter 1.
Posted on August 31, 2016 11:09am
Since 2009, the MSU Planning & Zoning Center (PZC), a part of the MSU Land Policy Institute, has held the Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program. The certificate-based training is recommended for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local zoning administrators. The next Training Program will take place in Plymouth at the Hilton Garden Inn, Feb. 15-16, 2017. This is a major change in format as previously the program was held three full days and now, in 2017, it will only be held for two full days.
Posted on August 31, 2016 10:55am
The Land Policy Institute hits the road this fall and will be presenting at a couple upcoming conferences.
First, Mark Wyckoff, LPI’s senior associate director and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU was invited to speak at the Council of Michigan Foundations 44th Annual Conference, which takes place Sept. 18-20, 2016, at the Ann Arbor Marriott in Ypsilanti. With a focus on “Think Boldly. Act Urgently.” This event will offer dynamic programming, thought-provoking speakers and a chance to network with peers at the largest statewide philanthropic conference in the nation. This year, the conference features more than 35 breakout sessions focusing on urgent issues and bold actions, along with a return of Big Thoughts, Quick Talks to enable engagement with experts in a casual setting.
LPI and SPDC co-sponsor Neighborhoods in America’s Legacy Cities: A Dialogue in Detroit in September
Posted on August 31, 2016 10:48am
Join an interdisciplinary meeting in Detroit Sept. 13-16, 2016, to discuss the role of historic preservation in revitalizing America’s legacy cities, where long-term population loss and economic decline present significant challenges for the future of the urban built environment. . . The 2016 Dialogue in Detroit Conference is presented by the State Historic Preservation Office, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Wayne State University; and is co-sponsored by the MSU Land Policy Institute and the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction. Preservationists, community developers, economic developers, urban planners, urban policy makers, urban designers and others are invited to cross-collaborate, share ideas and devise solutions with the goals of launching a more integrated approach to planning for the future of Legacy Cities, bringing historic preservation into urban policymaking and crafting a 21st century preservation profession that is responsive to the needs and conditions of Legacy Cities.
Posted on August 2, 2016 11:30am
The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) recently held their annual conference Jun. 26-29, 2016, in Burlington, VT. Every year, they recognize community and economic development extension professionals with national and regional awards during this event. These awards recognize a NACDEP member or group of members who have developed an outstanding effort or program that ensures meaningful diversity and inclusiveness.
This year, the Michigan State University team that co-authored the guidebook titled Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool received two NACDEP awards. The MSU team that worked on projects related to the MIplace Initiative also received two awards.
Posted on August 2, 2016 10:26am
The “transect” is a land-use term that describes a location based on its relative density, natural and/or built form characteristics. All places fall into one of six transect zones, which extend from the most natural place (T1), such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, to the most developed urban place (T6) like the property surrounding Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. Of course, there are transition zones between, but a quick look at the transect zones reveals common characteristics:
- Natural Environment (T1): Wilderness, forests, undisturbed shorelines, water bodies;
- Rural Places (T2): Working lands, agriculture lands;
- Sub-Urban Places (T3): Most new development post-WWII, shopping malls, strip commercial;
- Traditional Neighborhood Places (T4): Residential neighborhoods in small towns, big cities and first-tier suburbs;
- Downtown Places (T5): Traditional centers in large and small towns of retail, office and other business activity; main streets, civic spaces like town squares; and
- Urban Core (T6): Tall multi-use buildings, cultural and entertainment districts, civic spaces in the center of the largest, most dense cities.
Posted on July 12, 2016 1:26pm
A report detailing analysis of state and regional services that currently, or could potentially, support Networks Northwest’s Framework for Our Future Regional Prosperity Initiative is now available from the MSU Land Policy Institute (LPI). The Northwest Michigan Regional Services Recommendations report includes an assessment of overlaps, gaps and inefficiencies in the funding or implementation of targeted programs available to the northwestern counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This report was prepared by LPI for Networks Northwest.
According to the report, “aligning government services at the local, regional, state and even federal level is necessary to achieve cost savings, to avoid duplication of services, to prevent working at cross purposes, and to realize goals in a timely fashion, foremost of which is the enhanced prosperity of the Northwest Michigan region.”
The study analysis included a number of programs within five major categories: Workforce Development, Business and Economic Development, Community Development, Transportation, and Housing. These categories align with several chapters from the Framework Plan.
Posted on July 12, 2016 11:45am
Setting goals within a community for an upcoming year can pose some challenges when deciding how to create a quality place. The guidebook Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool, by the MSU Land Policy Institute, identifies six characteristic hallmarks of placemaking, which contribute to creating the elements of a quality place. Any community can work to achieve these elements, and use placemaking as a tool to plan to enhance or create more quality places.
Posted on June 2, 2016 9:53am
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is hosting their 24th annual conference June 8-11, 2016, in Detroit. With a focus on The Transforming City, this event will bring together more than 1,500 individuals from North America and around the world for four days of education, collaboration, discussion and debate on the policies, designs and emerging approaches that create great places.
Posted on June 2, 2016 8:57am
The MSU Land Policy Institute claims 2016 as the Year of Placemaking! Each month, LPI will publish an article focused on an aspect of placemaking that is pulled from the newly released guidebook titled Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool, which is a must-have resource for communities of any size.
The nearly 600-page comprehensive guidebook is divided into four parts, with two to four chapters in each. Part One provides an overview of placemaking, explains the demographic and market preference shifts that are driving the need for placemaking, as well as its economic benefits. Part Two covers the form and structure of neighborhoods, and why that’s critical for effective placemaking.
Posted on June 1, 2016 8:00am
The Land Policy Institute (LPI) at Michigan State University (MSU), in collaboration with the MIplace™ Partnership Initiative, announces the release of a guidebook titled Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. It is the most comprehensive publication on placemaking to date, drawing from the best works available. This complete guide seeks to assist neighborhoods and communities with quickly reshaping their thinking and acting on how effective placemaking can greatly enhance community and economic development.
With an emphasis on economic aspects of placemaking, this tool is particularly valuable in states, regions and localities that are attempting to reshape their communities to again be competitive in the global New Economy. Appropriate for municipalities of all shapes and sizes, including those facing different sets of challenges, this guidebook includes case examples of placemaking in action, and highlights various organizations, tools and resources that can be employed, engaged and adapted to meet a community’s unique situations.
In 2012, LPI, along with MSU Extension Educators, developed the Michigan Placemaking Curriculum, as part of the MIplace™ Partnership Initiative, with funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Since 2013, about 15,000 people have attended trainings on some parts of the curriculum. The guidebook was developed based off this curriculum.
Posted on May 19, 2016 3:31pm
The MSU Land Policy Institute (LPI) is pleased to welcome Yue Cui, PhD, to the team.
She comes to LPI from the MSU Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) where she will continue her work as an assistant professor for the Center for Economic and Spatial Analysis for Planning and Management. Cui is also an adjunct assistant professor with the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction.
In 2010, Cui earned a PhD from the former MSU Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, now CSUS. She also has a PhD in Geography from Peking University in China. Cui has been working on estimating the regional economic impacts of recreation and tourism since 2007.
She has conducted various economic impacts studies for the National Marine Manufacture Associations, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the National Park Service. Cui is also a geographer working to design a Volunteered Geographic Information System for a spatial-related survey instrument, placemaking tool, and recreation resource and inventory management tools for the USACE.
Posted on May 16, 2016 2:38pm
For the third time in a decade, Michigan made national and international headlines for negative reasons.
LPI’s Graebert shared expertise on walkable urban places at Building Michigan Communities Conference
Posted on May 5, 2016 4:32pm
On April 25-27, 2016, the annual Building Michigan Communities Conference (BMCC) took place at the Lansing Center in Lansing. With more than 1,700 attendees, the event has quickly become the largest conference of its kind in the U.S. The conference is attended by housing and community development service providers, nonprofit and for-profit developers and financiers.
On April 27, the Land Policy Institute’s (LPI) Mary Beth Graebert spoke on a panel titled “The Where, Why and How of Missing Middle Housing Development.” There is growing evidence that demand for urban living is increasing in Michigan, but an understanding of how and why this change is occurring, and more importantly, how Michigan communities can respond to it, is critical to meeting this rising demand.
Graebert presented on a study that the George Washington University Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis, and LPI recently completed on Walkable Urban Places in Michigan, which identified downtown locations with high walkability and regional economic activity, and confirmed that rent premiums show an increasing demand for housing and commercial space in these areas.
Next, Adam Cook, principal consultant with Seamless Collaborative, talked about the Target Market Analyses (TMA) that the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has had conducted in several Michigan communities to discover not only why this demand is growing, but who is driving this change, and what they are looking for when they relocate. He also talked about the 2015 Missing Middle Housing Design Competition, sponsored by AIA Michigan, MSHDA, LPI, the Michigan Municipal League (MML), the Michigan Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism and others, to help address the problem of Michigan’s growing need for more diverse and affordable housing options to better fit the demands of urban lifestyles, as identified in the TMAs.
Posted on May 5, 2016 11:25am
James Tischler, policy director of Collaborative Community Development at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and former director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s Community Development Division, was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), along with MSU’S School of Planning, Design and Construction’s Urban & Regional Planning Professor Zenia Kotval. Fellows of AICP receive this honor for “achieving excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership.” They must also be planners who have been members of AICP and be nominated and chosen to become members of the College of Fellows.
“It’s hard to find words to express how honored I am to be recognized by such esteemed professional peers,” said Tischler. “I am grateful to many colleagues with whom I have worked alongside on projects and programs over the years, which were the basis of the College’s selection.”
Tischler has more than 29 years of experience in the field of urban planning, working for public organizations and consulting with private sector firms, and has been a practicing planner in Michigan for more than 20 years. He has contributed research and innovation as a leading-edge practitioner and provided essential tools for more community-oriented planning. Tischler is respected nationally, especially for leadership in the planning movements of placemaking, form-based codes, New Urbanism and brownfield/greyfield redevelopment, all of which helped to qualify him for this honor.
Posted on April 21, 2016 1:50pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The scale of the fight against blight in Saginaw and other Michigan’s cities, strengthened since 2013 by a major infusion of federal funding, is about to get a whole lot bigger.
The U.S. Treasury has authorized the state to spend about $188.1 million from the Hardest Hit Fund on blight reduction mortgage relief efforts in Michigan, according to information released by federal officials Wednesday, April 20.
That effectively doubles the resources already in hand that could be used to clear away blighted homes in Michigan’s urban cores, according to U.S. Rep. Dan Kidlee, D-Flint Township.
“Obviously, that is a big boost,” Kildee said. “This will help, in terms of communities trying to rebuild their local economies.”
The congressman — who represents all of Bay and Genesee counties and parts of Saginaw County — is a key advocate of blight elimination efforts in the state, dating back to his term as treasurer in Genesee County.
After years of work chipping away at issues with blight in his hometown of Flint and elsewhere across Michigan, Kildee said it feels good to have helped secure such a large chunk of funding for the effort.
“I’ve been working on this since 1999,” he said. “Congress really helped me bring it to a scale that is equal to size of the problem.”
Michigan’s $188 million share is part $1 billion in funding approved nationwide. Of the allocations, Michigan claims the largest portion.
Posted on April 18, 2016 2:27pm
Faculty in the MSU Land Policy Institute and the School of Planning, Design and Construction recently completed a study on a new “Integrated Asset Management” model that focuses on neglected infrastructure and vacant properties in legacy cities. The Michigan Applied Public Policy Research (MAPPR) Paper was funded by the MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR).
Posted on April 15, 2016 8:36amThe American Planning Association (APA) hosted their 2016 National Planning Conference Apr. 2-5, 2016, in Phoenix, AZ. On Monday, Apr. 4, the Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, co-presented at the breakout session on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. Additional presenters include:
Posted on March 31, 2016 12:34pm
The American Planning Association (APA) is hosting their 2016 National Planning Conference beginning on Saturday through Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. On Monday, April 4, 2016, from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., the Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, will co-present the breakout session on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. Additional presenters include:
- James Tischler from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and
- Luke Forrest from the Michigan Municipal League.
This session features a case study with potential replicability at the state, regional or local levels. The presenters will explain how a small group of stakeholders organized as the Michigan Sense of Place Council and then grew into a much larger organization. The focus is on improving the quality and amount of redevelopment in targeted centers (downtowns), nodes and corridors by use of effective placemaking that is rooted in good urban form and broad stakeholder participation. Products include:
- An innovative six-module Placemaking Curriculum with more than 100 trainers (and more than 15,000 people trained),
- Funding of two dozen PlacePlans,
- Realignment of more than $1 billion in state grant spending around largely urban placemaking objectives and
- Promotion of a Redevelopment Ready Communities certification program, among other efforts.
Posted on March 15, 2016 3:38pm
The AIA Michigan, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers and the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors co-hosted the 21st Annual Architects, Engineers & Surveyors Legislative Day across from the Capitol in downtown Lansing. Attendees were educated on current trends and issues, and had an opportunity to meet with Michigan’s Representatives and Senators to express the profession’s interests and concerns.
Posted on March 3, 2016 12:52pm
Since 2009, the Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center (PZC) has hosted the popular Zoning Administrator Certificate Training Program. This program was designed to offer zoning administration and enforcement techniques in ways that reduce legal risks to the Zoning Administrator and their community. Last week, PZC conducted its latest round of training in Muskegon, MI. Despite the late-February winter storm and winds, 52 participated in the three-day program!
The Program has offered training in 14 different locations around the state; attracting more than 250 participants. This year’s class saw record attendance for a single session, necessitating the need for two concurrent sessions due to the high demand.
Zoning Administrators make up the majority of participants attending the training. However, the program has attracted private consultants and county planners who consult with local zoning administrators, local elected officials, and State agency staff. It has even attracted some participants who have been assigned the responsibility of the Zoning Administrator on top of other existing duties, due to lack of staff and/or funding at the local or county levels.
Posted on February 16, 2016 4:55pm
The American Planning Association (APA) is hosting their 2016 National Planning Conference Apr. 2-5, 2016, at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. The hub of urban growth welcomes planners to sample the rich culture, striking landscape and planning successes of the City, the region and the state of Arizona.
On Monday, Apr. 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., the Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, will co-present the breakout session on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. Additional presenters include:
- James Tischler from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and
- Luke Forrest from the Michigan Municipal League.
This session features a case study with potential replicability at the state, regional or local levels. The presenters will explain how a small group of stakeholders organized as a Sense of Place Council (SOPC) and how it grew into a much larger organization. The focus is on improving the quality and amount of redevelopment in targeted centers (downtowns), nodes and corridors by use of effective placemaking that is rooted in good urban form and broad stakeholder participation. Products of the MIplace Partnership Initiative the SOPC helped to create include:
- An innovative six-module Placemaking Curriculum with more than 100 trainers (and more than 15,000 people trained),
- Funding of two dozen local PlacePlans to guide place transformation in a particular location, and
- Development of the new 600-page self-help guidebook titled “Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool.”
Posted on February 4, 2016 2:20pm
By: Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue
Amid calls for his resignation, Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder issued repeated apologies this month for his administration’s role in transforming a plan to save money into one of the most dangerous drinking water emergencies in American history.
Yet even as the governor defends himself in the rising political heat of the Flint water crisis, a management fire rages at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the state agency charged with overseeing municipal water quality and safety.
Since 1920, the United States has tracked instances of waterborne disease outbreaks in every state. In 1993, in the worst U.S. public drinking water supply emergency, 403,000 people were sickened and 54 people died following an outbreak of Cryptosporidium in Milwaukee’s water supply, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The source of the protozoan organism, which causes severe gastrointestinal distress, was never conclusively identified. A scientific consensus emerged that the contaminants were carried on melting Lake Michigan ice and livestock manure that flowed into a Milwaukee drinking water treatment plant.
No other instance since 1993 of a waterborne threat from a public drinking water system in the United States is as serious as what is occurring in Flint. The extent of lead contamination and its long-term consequences for Flint citizens, especially for children, are not known.
The contrast between the emergencies in Milwaukee and in Flint is striking. In Milwaukee, the disease-bearing organism slipped into the city’s water and was not recognized until hospitals, schools, employers, and pharmacies reported an unusual number of diarrhea cases. City officials reacted with a “boil water” alert, and changes in water quality monitoring and upstream management.
Posted on February 4, 2016 1:22pm
The Michigan Townships Association (MTA) hosted their annual conference Jan. 19-22, 2016, in Detroit. The 2016 Annual Educational Conference brought together about 1,000 officials for three days of educational and networking experiences. On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, the MSU Land Policy Institute and MSU Extension partnered to deliver two separate extended sessions on placemaking. Both sessions introduced placemaking and quality places, and then explored the relationship between placemaking and economic development, and what makes quality places. Practical tips on how to apply placemaking in a community, and how to start the process were given along with helpful resources that are available.
The Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU; and Glenn Pape, extension educator for MSU Extension, presented Strategic Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool in Suburban Townships. The exercises that Wyckoff and Pape facilitated were used to help participants think about how to transform sometimes auto-centric suburbs into more walkable and people-oriented places.
Holly Madill, outreach specialist for LPI; and Dean Solomon, senior educator for MSU Extension, presented Placemaking Projects to Improve Quality of Life in Your Township. The exercises that Madill and Solomon facilitated helped participants think about the interdependence of urban and rural places, and sparked discussion about how to capitalize on unique assets to encourage placemaking projects and activities.
Posted on February 4, 2016 1:06pm
Demographics are changing, markets are changing and communities are changing. Talented workers have skills that are in high demand, and they can live anywhere they want. They will not choose your community unless it is a high-quality place with a lot of amenities. Jobs increasingly locate where there are an abundance of talented workers. Thus, creating a quality place is the first step to talent and job attraction and improved economic competitiveness. But, developers will not build what is needed unless the community makes it easy for them to do so.
Placemaking required to create quality places
Placemaking is the process of creating quality places where people want to live, work, play and learn. There needs to be several quality places in each region for the region to be economically competitive. Creating quality places is a constant process of placemaking that focuses on public spaces and the interface of private spaces with public spaces (building facades, “build-to lines,” height and parking especially).
Barriers: Limited master plans
Most master plans are old or outdated. They are not based on contemporary analysis of demographic changes or informed by recent market trends. They focus primarily on land use and infrastructure and fail to consider urban form and the value of amenities (parks, trails, entertainment venues, well-equipped public spaces, good transit, etc.). In addition, they have no section on placemaking or priorities for public investments, and no clear guidance on plan implementation.
Posted on January 14, 2016 12:59pm
Most of what professionals learn in their careers comes from experience A.K.A. trial and error, either their own or a predecessor. But, for many, this method of learning (although valuable) can have high costs and lasting impacts on their communities. Zoning Administrators (ZA) are the front line for new development or redevelopment in a community, and yet most receive no formal training.
The Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program offered by the MSU Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center (PZC) is the only course of its kind in Michigan. Designed specifically for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local ZAs, this intensive course teaches the fundamentals needed to improve performance, customer service, efficacy of processes and accuracy of information, thereby making the trial-and-error process of learning less burdensome on ZAs and their communities.
Registration for the training is available online, but you must also submit a completed form from the registration brochure to PZC. The course runs Feb. 23-25, 2016, at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center in Muskegon. There are eight modules (about three hours of instruction, 24 hours total) included in each training program leading to a certificate of completion for those that pass an exam associated with each module.
- Job Description, Responsibilities and Basic Ethics;
- Legal Issues;
- Reviewing Applications: Common Procedures and Use of Forms;
- Reviewing Plot Plans and Site Plans;
- Inspections and Violations;
- Preparing Files, Reports and Record Keeping;
- Interactions with other Professionals and Agencies, and Departmental Duties; and
- Customer Service and Counter Behavior.
Posted on December 18, 2015 9:59am
This year, the Land Policy Institute (LPI)’s contribution to research and outreach efforts have ranged widely to include such topics as placemaking, regionalism, economic development, corridor improvement, “Missing Middle” housing, land use and water infrastructure, among others. The Institute has been working with many units on campus, as well as stakeholders and policy makers in the state and nationwide in support of building and maintaining sustainable communities in Michigan.
Posted on December 17, 2015 5:36pm
The MSU Planning & Zoning Center (PZC), a part of the MSU Land Policy Institute, will be offering the Zoning Administrator Certificate Training Program in Muskegon at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center on Feb. 23-25, 2016. Space is still available with early registration ending Monday, Feb. 13, 2016, so be sure to reserve your space today!
LPI’s Wyckoff & Madill to share placemaking expertise at MTA Annual Educational Conference Jan. 2016
Posted on December 3, 2015 1:18pm
The Michigan Townships Association (MTA) is hosting their annual conference Jan. 19-22, 2016, at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The 2016 Annual Educational Conference will help attendees: Recharge enthusiasm for public service; reengage with constituents; rethink role as a board member; reinvent the vision for townships; and rebuild relationships with township boards and communities. This premiere event for local leaders brings together more than 1,000 officials for three days of unmatched educational and networking experiences. The MTA has assembled the very best local government thought-leaders, trend-watchers, and policy and governance experts to bring attendees learning opportunities that simply cannot be found anywhere else.
On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, the Land Policy Institute’s senior associate director Mark Wyckoff, and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU; and Holly Madill, outreach specialist for LPI, will present at two separate extended sessions from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Dean Solomon, senior educator for MSU Extension, and Madill will co-present on Placemaking Projects to Improve Quality of Life in Your Township. Placemaking is a process for improving the quality of places in which to live, work, play, shop, learn and visit. Participants will receive an overview of three types of placemaking and discover techniques for improving the quality of places in small and large, rural and urban townships. This expanded session offers a hands-on opportunity for participants to generate ideas for placemaking in their own township. It will have special utility for townships with a village within the township, or which surround or are located near a city.
Posted on November 19, 2015 4:06pm
Since 2009, the MSU Planning & Zoning Center (PZC), a part of the MSU Land Policy Institute, has offered the Zoning Administrator Certificate Training Program in 15 different locations around the state. Zoning Administrators make up the majority of participants attending the training. However, the program has attracted private consultants and county planners who consult with local Zoning Administrators, local elected officials and State agency staff as well. It has even attracted some unexpected participants who may have taken on the responsibility of the Zoning Administrator, due to lack of staff and funding at the municipal or county levels.
The PZC will be offering the Training Program in Muskegon at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center on Feb. 23-25, 2016. Space is available and early registration ends on Monday, Feb. 13, 2016, so be sure to reserve your space today!
All Zoning Administrators should attend this program at some point in their career. The sooner they take the classes after becoming a Zoning Administrator, the better able they will be to do their job well. The Zoning Administrators who have attended the training program have had varying levels of experience and all have benefitted from the program.
Posted on November 19, 2015 1:39pm
Those who really know the city of Detroit are aware of its countless triumphs, big and small, and its enduring spirit. Stories of renewal and resurgence abound, as many, including Spartans, continue to invest in the city, its work, and its people.
Detroit is one of the seven metro areas that are part of the Michigan Walkable Urban Places study led by MSU’s Land Policy Institute.
Michigan State University’s Land Policy Institute is helping conduct the Michigan Walkable Urban Places study to assist in planning future development blueprints for the state of Michigan.
The study will assess walkability trends and real estate demand in seven metro regions: Detroit-Ann Arbor; Flint; Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland; Kalamazoo-Battle Creek; Lansing; Jackson; and Saginaw-Midland-Bay City.
Posted on November 18, 2015 1:28pm
The Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC) is hosting their next monthly Land Use Lunch Series event at noon on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, at the Michigan Municipal League office in Lansing. Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of the Land Policy Institute, will be the featured speaker. She will share results from the recently released study on Economic Impact Analysis of the Ingham County Property Tax Auction by the Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing and LPI. The Treasurer’s office has utilized Property Tax Foreclosure Auction and Land Bank Fast Track Authority programs since 2006 to address foreclosure, abandonment and blight in Ingham County neighborhoods. The study examines the economic impacts of tax auction sales, rates of return to foreclosure, and the relationship between tax auction property sales, renovations and property prices in Ingham County neighborhoods between 2008 and 2014. Study results show that tax auction activities can play a positive role in neighborhood revitalization, which has been especially important during the economic recession and housing market decline, but strategic use of property disposition tools is key to success.
Posted on November 4, 2015 10:53am
The Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) hosted their Annual Conference Oct. 7-9, 2015, in Detroit. Planning Michigan 2015 celebrated Community Planning Month with inspirational national speakers and industry experts in the largest city in Michigan. Mark Wyckoff, FAICP, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU; and Holly Madill, outreach specialist for LPI were on hand to make presentations during the conference.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, Madill taught the Introduction to Planning and Zoning session of the MSU Extension Michigan Citizen Planner Program, while Wyckoff taught the second session on the Legal Foundations of Planning and Zoning to about 30 interested citizen planners from across the state.
On Thursday, Oct. 8, Madill co-presented the breakout session on Finding Common Ground: Planners and Public Health Officials Working toward Resiliency. This interactive session explored the intersection of community planning and local public health, the cross-over issues that decision makers from both disciplines will likely face in the future resulting from climate change, processes and tools that exist for collaboratively facing those challenges, and how the community benefits. Other co-presenters included Aaron Ferguson from the Michigan Department of Community Health, and Claire Karner from the Land Information Access Association.
Posted on October 16, 2015 12:18pm
Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing and Michigan State University Land Policy Institute are pleased to release the results of a seven-year study examining the relationship between tax auction property sales, renovations and property prices in Ingham County neighborhoods between 2008 and 2014.
Posted on October 15, 2015 1:13pm
On Oct. 9, Mark Wyckoff, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU, traveled to Traverse City to update community planners in the 10-county region served by Networks Northwest on a variety of legal issues. Most time was spent on a wide array of pending legislation (reported in the Sept. issue of Planning & Zoning News) that may affect the practice of local planning and zoning. Recent federal and state Supreme Court opinions of consequence and a handful of new laws were also summarized. Wyckoff answered many questions from the nearly 30 people present and considerable interest was focused on the legislature’s efforts to create a new structure for regulating medical marijuana provisioning centers. See especially HB 4209, 4210, and 4827.
Posted on September 30, 2015 10:39am
On Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, MSU Land Policy Institute’s associate director Mary Beth Graebert and Robert Dalton, PhD student in the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC), presented the “Core Elements of a World Class Built Environment” at the World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society (WSEAS) Conference, which took place at the MSU Union Sept. 20-22, 2015.
In this era of shifting demographics, fossil fuel energy scarcity and global economic and environmental challenges, what defines a “world class” city? During their presentation, Graebert and Dalton shared the ten most important and prevalent factors of world class communities that were identified and applied in a design for the 4.5-mile Michigan/Grand River Avenue corridor in Lansing-East Lansing, MI. These factors included functional and attractive; private-public partnerships with anchor institutions; compact, connected and oriented downtowns; diverse, affordable housing options; livable neighborhoods; resilient and scale-appropriate infrastructure; carbon neutrality, and building and community scale; regional interdependence and community vision; green, resilient ecosystems; and inclusivity and innovation. They also discussed that during the design process, which engaged many stakeholders, the key needs and opportunities for development in the corridor were identified as connectivity (transportation), opportunity (jobs) and density and mixed use (housing). The result was a vision for a creative and globally competitive atmosphere where individuals can work, live, learn, and play.
Posted on September 30, 2015 10:18am
As the MSU Planning & Zoning Center (PZC), a part of the MSU Land Policy Institute, gears up for its 8th annual Zoning Administrator Certificate Training Program, it also looks forward to increased partnership with MSU Extension’s (MSUE) Michigan Citizen Planner Program. The Zoning Administrator Certificate training is recommended for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local Zoning Administrators. This year, the Training Program will take place in Muskegon at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center, Feb. 23-25, 2016.
To receive a certificate upon completion of the Zoning Administrator Certificate program, participants must also complete the Michigan Citizen Planner Fundamentals of Planning & Zoning Program as a prerequisite or be AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) certified, and successfully pass a multiple choice examination.
Posted on September 16, 2015 11:16am
The Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) is hosting their Annual Conference Oct. 7-9, 2015, at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. Planning Michigan 2015 will celebrate Community Planning Month with inspirational national speakers and industry experts in the largest city in Michigan. With featured speakers: Stephen Dane, Esq. from Relman, Dane & Colfax; Liz Keegan and Nancy Haynes from the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan; Brett Lenart, AICP, from Washtenaw County; Karina Ricks from Nelson Nygaard Associates; Amber Miller from the Ann Arbor DDA; Jim Ferner from the Southwest Michigan Sierra Club; Suzanne Schulz, AICP, from the City of Grand Rapids; Daniel Parolek, AIA, from Opticos Design, Inc; Jim Tischler from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA); the Land Policy Institute’s Mark Wyckoff; Sharon Woods, CRE, from LandUse|USA; Patrick Sloan, AICP from McKenna Associates; Daniel Dalton from Dalton & Tomich PLC; Kenny Peskin from the International Sign Association; and Scott Bernstein from the Center for Neighborhood Technologies. As in previous years, attend the Michigan Citizen Planner Program in just three days!
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m., Holly Madill, outreach specialist for LPI, will teach the first session (Introduction to Planning and Zoning) of the Michigan Citizen Planner Program. Mark Wyckoff, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU, will teach the second session (Legal Aspects of Planning and Zoning) from 10:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Posted on September 9, 2015 11:56am
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)—Researchers at Michigan State University will be working to help study the economic and social effects of efforts to fight blight in Michigan cities.
Federal funding has supported local efforts to deal with blighted buildings in recent years, with a goal of stabilizing neighborhoods.
The MSU Land Policy Institute will work with the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation on the study.
Posted on September 9, 2015 11:43am
EAST LANSING — Researchers at Michigan State University will work to help study the economic and social effects of efforts to fight blight in Michigan cities.
Federal funding has supported local efforts to deal with blighted buildings in recent years, with a goal of stabilizing neighborhoods. The MSU Land Policy Institute will work with the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corp. on the study.
Posted on September 9, 2015 9:46am
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Researchers at Michigan State University will be working to help study the economic and social effects of efforts to fight blight in Michigan cities.
Federal funding has supported local efforts to deal with blighted buildings in recent years, with a goal of stabilizing neighborhoods. The MSU Land Policy Institute will work with the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation on the study.
Posted on September 2, 2015 2:49pm
The Michigan Step Forward program, administered by the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Nonprofit Housing Corporation (MHA) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), has allocated some of the State’s Hardest Hit Funds from the U.S. Treasury Department toward the Blight Elimination program. The focus of the program is on eliminating the surplus of blighted single-family homes that have distressed communities for several years, with a goal of stabilizing neighborhoods and making the first step toward improving the quality of life in these neighborhoods and communities. The MSU Land Policy Institute will be working with MHA to gather and analyze information about the economic and social impacts of the Blight Elimination program in the 16 Michigan cities where funds will be spent, including Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac, Saginaw, Lansing, Jackson, Highland Park, Inkster, Ecorse, Muskegon Heights, River Rouge, Port Huron, Hamtramck, Ironwood and Adrian.
Posted on August 21, 2015 10:04am
The Land Policy Institute is partnering with Networks Northwest to develop a regional services recommendation report outlining State‐funded services and programs and identify State‐regional partnerships in support of the area’s Regional Prosperity Plan; thus, helping local decision makers to access the best tools and resources in support of the Northwest Michigan’s Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan.
Posted on August 4, 2015 12:37pm
Nationwide, studies are citing the resurgence of the urban lifestyle, and cities in Michigan are no exception. On Jul. 29, 2015, Southwest Michigan First and partners hosted an event called “Living in Kalamazoo: What’s the Demand?” The purpose of this event was to look at real estate trends and the need for housing in downtown Kalamazoo, how these redevelopment projects can work from a financial standpoint, and what examples currently exist in the city landscape.
Posted on August 4, 2015 12:16pm
As the MSU Planning & Zoning Center (PZC), a part of the MSU Land Policy Institute, gears up for its 8th annual Zoning Administrator Certificate Training Program, it also looks forward to increased partnership with MSU Extension’s (MSUE) Michigan Citizen Planner Program. The Zoning Administrator Certificate training is recommended for all new and current Zoning Administrators, along with private consultants and county planners who consult with local Zoning Administrators. This year, the Training Program will take place in Muskegon at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center, Feb. 23-25, 2016
Posted on August 3, 2015 3:05pm
Michigan has 83 counties. California, which is more than twice as large as Michigan and boasts more than three times as many residents, has just 47 counties. Kentucky, with two-thirds of Michigan’s land area and less than half its population, has 120. So what gives? Does Kentucky have too many counties? Or does California have too few?
Posted on August 3, 2015 2:58pm
People are moving back to urban areas and downtown Kalamazoo can grow with that trend, a panel of experts said Wednesday. Kalamazoo’s core has great potential for residential development, they said—if public and private sectors can work together.
Posted on August 3, 2015 2:48pm
About 1,400 more living spaces could be built and would be readily put to use over the next five years in downtown Kalamazoo and the surrounding area. So finds a 117-page study commissioned by Downtown Kalamazoo Inc. and other interests, and compiled by Zimmerman/Volk Associates Inc. of Clinton, N.J. “An Analysis of Residential Market Potential” analyzes Kalamazoo’s central business district as well as adjacent areas to determine “the optimum market position for new urban housing units — created both through adaptive re-use of existing non-residential buildings as well as through new construction.”
Posted on July 15, 2015 11:29am
Pontiac has been deemed a Silver Walkable Urban Place (or WalkUP) in a recently-released report focusing on the walkability of various Michigan downtowns.
Posted on July 9, 2015 11:26am
The first-ever Missing Middle Housing design competition sponsored by the American Institute of Architects Michigan chapter, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute among others, attracted entries from architects and design students from around the world.
Posted on July 5, 2015 8:00am
Across the country, metro areas like Washington, D.C., and Boston have been experiencing significant shifts toward walkable urbanism, particularly in this most recent real estate cycle, making these areas among the most walkable nationwide. New research indicates that metro Detroit - and Michigan overall - are beginning to see trends in growth of walkable spaces, although not as advanced as other urban areas.
Posted on July 2, 2015 10:22am
A new report indicates that Michigan trails other states in making communities more walkable. The classic suburban house with a white picket fence and a big yard was once the image of the American dream. After World War II, the interstate highway system made suburban sprawl possible by linking jobs in the urban core to residential developments farther out.
Posted on June 26, 2015 11:46amThe Atlanta metropolitan area is bucking the trends established by its recent history of sprawling development by building a majority of its new developments as walkable urban places. The Atlanta region is kicking butt with walkable urban developments,” according to a post by Darin, also known as the ATL Urbanist.
Posted on June 26, 2015 11:28am
Michigan is seeing increasing demand for walkable communities, which add economic value and mean opportunities for developers, business owners and the communities themselves, according to the authors of a new study. And downtown Plymouth, the study says, is one of the Walkable Urban Places – or WalkUPs – in the diverse Detroit-Ann Arbor area that, along with Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, is leading the trend.
Posted on June 26, 2015 11:06am
Landlords trying to attract tenants to their buildings are increasingly focusing on how walkable their surrounding communities are. Consumers who are renting because they want to — not because they can’t buy a home — want to live in neighborhoods in which they can walk to public transportation, shops, restaurants and movie theaters. They want to ditch their cars in secure parking places for weeks at a time. Many don’t want to own a car at all. That’s why a new report — The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Michigan — is such good news. The report, released on June 23 at the LOCUS Michigan Leadership Summit held by the George Washington University School of Business in partnership with Michigan State University (Land Policy Institute), said that there is a pent-up demand for walkable urban multifamily developments throughout the state of Michigan.
Posted on June 25, 2015 12:21pm
In the just-released WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Michigan Metros, Smart Growth America looks at development in seven Michigan metropolitan areas.
Posted on June 25, 2015 12:15pmWalkable urban places are not just a phenomenon of coastal U.S. metropolitan areas. This report demonstrates that the market desires them in Michigan—and they are gaining traction. If this emerging trend in favor of walkable urbanism plays out in Michigan as it has in the other metro areas studied by George Washington University—Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C.— it will mean an historic shift away from the drivable development patterns that have dominated development for the latter half of the 20th century. The state could return to the walkable urban development pattern that predominated before World War II.
Posted on June 24, 2015 12:25pm
A new report in a series on developments in walkable urban places – referred to as “WalkUPs” – focuses on Michigan, but it contains an interesting graph that combines data from metro regions in that state with that from previous reports on Washington DC, Atlanta, and Boston. The studies are showing a shift away from car-centric development patterns that dominated development in US metros during the latter half of the 20th century, and a trend toward building new offices, retail and residential in walkable places. The graph above provides a good comparison between the regions – and it also shows that the trend in Metro Atlanta is actually stronger than in the other metros.
Posted on June 24, 2015 11:58am
A new report reveals that after decades of disinvestment, walkable urban places are emerging in Michigan, with Detroit-Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids leading the way. The report – The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Michigan – examines the top seven metro areas across Michigan, including Detroit-Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, Lansing, Jackson, Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, and Flint.
Posted on June 24, 2015 11:50am
As the cradle of the car industry, Michigan built out its cities and suburbs exclusively for the automobile after WWII with a fervor that few other states could match. Today the pendulum of public preference is swinging back toward walkability, but much of Michigan’s housing stock is stuck in the old model. Just 8 percent of homes in the state’s seven principal metro areas are in walkable places, and just 4 percent of homes built since 1960. Meanwhile, Michigan also leads the country in job sprawl, with 77 percent of Detroit-area jobs located more than 10 miles from downtown. These patterns aren’t going to last forever, though.
Posted on June 23, 2015 1:21pm
An international sampling of architects and design students stepped up to solve the problem of Michigan’s growing need for more diverse and affordable housing options to better fit the demands of urban lifestyles. That need has come to be known as the missing middle.
Posted on June 23, 2015 12:45pm
After decades of disinvestment, a new trend is beginning to emerge in Michigan metropolitan areas, with Grand Rapids and Detroit-Ann Arbor leading the way: a shift back towards walkable urban places, referred to as “WalkUPs.” According to a new report released today at the LOCUS (a program of Smart Growth America) Michigan Leadership Summit by the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB), in partnership with Michigan State University (Land Policy Institute), there is significant pent-up demand for walkable urbanism in Michigan, evident by the rent and price premiums for walkable real estate that have emerged over the last several years.
Posted on June 23, 2015 12:40pm
Compact urbanism is not just a trend in big coastal cities—but reaches deep into the heartland of Michigan. A study of the state’s seven top metro areas shows that after decades of disinvestment, walkable urban places, referred to as “WalkUPs,” are coming back to life. According to a new report released by LOCUS (a program of Smart Growth America), Michigan Leadership Summit, George Washington University School of Business and Michigan State University, pent-up demand for walkable urbanism in Michigan is evident by rent and price premiums that have emerged over recent years.
Posted on June 23, 2015 12:37pm
A study from George Washington University in partnership with MSU shows walkable urban places are emerging in the state’s top seven metro areas including Lansing and Jackson.
Posted on June 23, 2015 12:32pm
An interesting study came out today from George Washington University’s School of Business. It’s co-authored by Christopher B. Leinberger, a guy who’s become something of a spokesman for the bright prospects of walkable urban spaces and the demand for them. It’s the kind of document that should help bolster the pitches of any entrepreneurs looking for funding for businesses in traditionally walkable places, but the study also has an eye on emerging “walkable urban places” (dubbed WalkUPs). In a way, the study is almost a point-by-point response to those whose minds are stuck in the suburban drivable “Edge City,” who can’t imagine why their children would want to buy a house in the neighborhoods their parents abandoned. And the fact that this report comes from a business school and not a sociology department makes it all the more difficult to dismiss.
Posted on June 23, 2015 10:56am
Walkable real estate development projects and places are on the rise nationwide. LOCUS has looked at how these trends are playing out in Atlanta, Washington, DC, and Boston. Today, we’re excited to unveil the fourth report in ourWalkUP Wake-Up Call series. The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Michigan Metros looks at development in seven Michigan metropolitan areas: Detroit-Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, Lansing, Jackson, Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Saginaw-Bay City-Midland, and Flint. Our analysis of these areas finds that in the most recent real estate cycle, 22 percent of all new income property development located in the 2.7 percent of land that is walkable urban. This share of new development is up from only 6 percent in the 1990s real estate cycle and 12 percent from the 2001-2008 cycle.
Posted on June 19, 2015 11:23am
On June 4, 2015, Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of the Land Policy Institute, presented preliminary results from a study LPI is conducting with Dr. Mohamed El-Gafy, Associate Professor in Construction Management in the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction, to participants at the Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference.
Posted on June 18, 2015 11:05am
Winners to be announced June 23: Michigan “Missing Middle” Housing Design Competition Awards Symposi
Posted on June 18, 2015 10:56am
Join AIA Michigan, the Competition sponsors and attendees at the 2015 LOCUS Michigan Leadership Summit on Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2015, for the 2015 “Missing Middle” Housing Design Competition Awards Symposium where winning designs and designers will be recognized for their work.
Posted on June 11, 2015 10:09am
The MSU’s Land Policy Institute is helping conduct the Michigan Walkable Urban Places study to assist in planning future development blueprints for the state of Michigan. The study will assess walkability trends and real estate demand in seven metro regions: Detroit-Ann Arbor; Flint; Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland; Kalamazoo-Battle Creek; Lansing; Jackson; and Saginaw-Midland-Bay City.
Posted on May 14, 2015 12:45pm
The Placemaking Strategy Development Workshop Series is wrapping up on May 29. These events are free and open to the public, so be sure to reserve your space today! The series is co-hosted by the MSU Land Policy Institute, MSU Extension and the Michigan Municipal League.
Posted on May 14, 2015 12:33pm
On Thursday April 30, 2015, the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC) celebrated another year of environmental advocacy at their annual awards ceremony in Lansing. This event acknowledged the hard work of community leaders in the Tri-County Region (Clinton, Eaton and Ingham) that have helped make the community greener and more sustainable.
Posted on May 13, 2015 4:34pm
Recent research has shown that the most walkable metropolitan areas in the country have higher GDPs per capita and higher proportions of college graduates in their population. The regionally significant walkable urban places in these metros (WalkUPs) are seeing strong real estate demand as evidenced by strong office absorption and rent premiums. These WalkUPs are models for future development patterns and economic growth.
Posted on April 30, 2015 12:56pm
The MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) recently led a study on Newaygo County agricultural opportunities involving a team of researchers from MSU’s Land Policy Institute; the Institute of Agricultural Technology; the Product Center; the Center for Economic Analysis; the Department of Community Sustainability; and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. As part of the project, the grantee, the City of Newaygo, invited a network of area partners with expertise in economic development, education, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as farming and agriculture to connect with faculty at Michigan State University. Input from these two groups helped to complete an economic analysis, business assessment and strategy building. Funding supporting the project was provided by the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Posted on April 30, 2015 12:47pm
The Placemaking Strategy Development Workshop Series continues through the end of May. These events are free and open to the public, so be sure to reserve your space today! The series, co-hosted by the MSU Land Policy Institute, MSU Extension and the Michigan Municipal League, continues into May with workshops taking place in more than 30 communities across Michigan.
Posted on April 30, 2015 12:34pm
The 2015 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference is taking place May 19-21, 2015, at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. This conference, hosted by the Center for Community Progress, is the premier gathering of leaders from across the country exploring innovative solutions for tackling vacant, abandoned and problem properties. Themed “Beyond Blight: Building a Bold Movement,” the 2015 conference will explore the latest tools to combat vacancy and move beyond neighborhood blight, as well as how government officials, community leaders, and others in the field can join forces across departments, cities, and even states to achieve wide-scale positive change. Conference sessions will highlight work from around the country, including efforts from Michigan.
Posted on April 30, 2015 12:18pm
Each year, the Michigan Rural Council welcomes regional, national and international speakers and presenters to the Small Town & Rural Development Conference whose expertise and passion make this event the premier conference for rural community development in Michigan. This annual conference provides an opportunity to share, learn and connect with leaders across Michigan working to support and promote vibrant rural communities. The 2015 Michigan Small Town & Rural Development Conference took place April 13-15, 2015, in Thompsonville.
Posted on April 17, 2015 12:23pm
On March 6, 2015, the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) hosted the 2015 Contemporary Issues Institute on Cultivating a Civil Society in an Era of Incivility in Lansing. It offered participants the opportunity to learn from and discuss with innovative thinkers and doers from across the state and nation on how to change behaviors and engage in respectful dialogue to build a more civil democratic society.
Holly Madill, outreach specialist for the Land Policy Institute’s Planning & Zoning Center, participated in the session on Putting Civility in Place. This session explored the impact that place can have on how people feel and act.
Posted on April 16, 2015 3:40pm
The best way to get to the truth of where you are as a community, is to ask a visitor, from the outside, what their first impression was right after their visit.
Well, I recently had this experience with regard to the Lansing region, specifically the City of East Lansing and the campus of Michigan State University. And I didn’t have to ask. He volunteered. And I cringed.
This person is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for one of the nation’s three largest high-tech firms in that particular industry. He was visiting Michigan State University, and our region, on a business trip. I know him very well.
He didn’t ask. He stated, “Wow. Things look terrible. What’s going on with all of those abandoned buildings on Grand River in downtown East Lansing?”
My heart sank. Fair or not, there is no denying that downtowns represent a community, and all of us within it and around it. And there is no denying that a downtown is the central environment that global companies and international families judge, as a key indicator, as to whether our neighborhoods, schools and businesses offer a sophisticated, cosmopolitan environment, one worthy enough to choose any of us as home over other global regions like Nashville, Ann Arbor, Austin, Columbus, Madison, San Francisco, London or Stockholm.
Posted on April 16, 2015 3:32pm
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.
Posted on April 3, 2015 11:40am
Entries are still being accepted by the American Institute of Architects – Michigan for the 2015 Michigan “Missing Middle” Housing Design Competition—an open design competition intended to spur the development of creative, mixed-income and affordable “Missing Middle” Michigan housing developments in the state’s downtowns and along key transit corridors. Submit your entry today! The deadline for registrations is 4 p.m. on Monday, Apr. 6, 2015.
Posted on April 3, 2015 11:08am
The MSU Institute of Public Utilities, the MSU Land Policy Institute (LPI) and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland are hosting a two-week Executive Master’s course on Innovative Governance in Large Urban Systems (IGLUS) in Detroit, East Lansing and Chicago, IL, Apr. 13-24, 2015. Participants of this program include city managers, managers of urban infrastructures (e.g., public transport, energy, water and wastewater, waste management, parks and greens, emergency systems, airports and ports, public works, social housing, etc.), urban planners and other interested people (e.g., consultants).
Posted on April 3, 2015 10:42am
On Monday, March 23, 2015, the Placemaking Strategy Development Workshop Series kicked off in Sault Ste. Marie. The series, co-hosted by the MSU Land Policy Institute, MSU Extension and the Michigan Municipal League, continues into May with workshops taking place in more than 30 communities across Michigan.
Posted on March 20, 2015 12:09pm
Last November, Mary Beth Graebert of MSU Land Policy Institute weighed in on the complicated and large-scale East Lansing project known as the Park District. This is a five-acre site at the corner of Grand River Ave. and Abbot Rd. in East Lansing, immediately across the street from Michigan State University’s Abbot Rd. entrance. The project, as proposed at that time, included five buildings to be constructed by two separate development entities. The first developer, the Park District Investment Group (PDIG), proposed a 10-story building at the Northwest corner of Grand River Ave. and Abbot Rd. with a first-floor restaurant and bank branch; 120-room Hotel Indigo; and five floors of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. They also proposed a four-story mixed-use building with first-floor retail and three floors of apartments adjacent to Valley Court Park. The second developer, DTN Management Co., proposed an eight-story building with first-floor commercial and seven stories of office space, a 700-space parking ramp with apartments and owner-occupied condos on upper floors, and an apartment building for residents who are age 55 and older.
Posted on March 19, 2015 12:06pm
The Chelsea City Council will learn the meaning and importance of place-making as it advances its agenda on economic development.
Posted on March 19, 2015 11:31am
Land Policy Institute sr. associate director, Mark Wyckoff, traveled to Volos, Greece, for the 9th International Planning Law and Property Rights Conference on Feb. 25-27, 2015. About 100 academics made presentations at the conference. This is the second time Wyckoff has presented at this conference. The first time was in February 2010 in Aaborg, Denmark.
Posted on March 9, 2015 12:37pm
The MIplace Partnership Initiative is a statewide initiative that has Michigan at the forefront of a national movement known as placemaking. It’s a simple concept. Communities that offer a high quality of life and amenities that are important to talented workers can be very competitive in the global economy. Communities that don’t have these features and do not enjoy these economic benefits can create them through a process called placemaking.
Posted on March 9, 2015 12:14pm
Placemaking is a simple concept: communities that create and enhance amenities resulting in a high quality of life for residents are able to retain and attract talented workers and can therefore be very competitive in the global economy. Effective placemaking has the potential to transform a place from somewhere you cannot wait to leave into a place where you cannot wait to be! That’s important in the global economy, because talent is mobile. In other words, quality places attract economic development. Placemaking is all about creating quality places.
Posted on March 6, 2015 5:20pm
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget has awarded grant dollars to Prosperity Region 7—composed of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties—for the second year of Gov. Snyder’s Regional Prosperity Initiative…
Posted on March 6, 2015 5:11pm
The American Institute of Architects – Michigan is accepting entries for the 2015 Michigan “Missing Middle” Housing Design Competition—an open design competition intended to spur the development of creative, mixed-income and affordable “Missing Middle” Michigan housing developments in the state’s downtowns and along key transit corridors. The goal of the Competition—which is open to all contestants nationwide and offers a $10,000 top cash prize and two additional cash prizes of $5,000 each—is to promote awareness about the mismatch that exists between U.S. housing stock and shifting demographics, combined with the growing need for walkable urban living.
Posted on March 6, 2015 4:44pm
On Monday, March 23, 2015, the Placemaking Strategy Development Workshop Series kicks off in Sault Ste. Marie. The series, co-hosted by the MSU Land Policy Institute, MSU Extension and the Michigan Municipal League, will continue into May with workshops taking place in more than 30 communities across Michigan.
Posted on February 27, 2015 4:16pm
Since 2013, PlacePlans has been a joint effort between Michigan State University (Land Policy Institute and the School of Planning, Design and Construction) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML), funded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority through the MIplace Partnership Initiative. PlacePlans is designed to help communities design and plan for transformative placemaking projects, and is customized to each project and community.
Posted on February 17, 2015 9:50am
Two northwest Michigan cities are among seven chosen to start working on placemaking and economic development through the PlacePlans program ...
Posted on February 5, 2015 1:16pm
The MIplace Partnership Initiative, in cooperation with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Municipal League, the MSU Land Policy Institute, and MSU Extension Land Use Educators, prepared a six-module Placemaking Training Curriculum two years ago. Hundreds of training programs have been offered throughout Michigan since then to more than 11,000 people.
This year, from March-May, the LPI and MSU Extension are co-hosting more than 30 training workshops to be offered in communities across Michigan on Placemaking Strategy Development.
Posted on February 5, 2015 9:50am
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan Municipal League has selected seven cities to receive technical assistance with key economic development projects…
Posted on February 2, 2015 9:51am
Lansing, Mich.—Millennials, Gen Xers and senior citizens across the country are among the growing audiences talking about their needs for more diverse and affordable housing options that better fit urban lifestyles. In Michigan, architects, designers and urban planners are being challenged to put this new version of the American Dream into action as part of an innovative contest that is believed to be a first-of-its-kind event nationally…
The MSU Land Policy Institute is a sponsor of this competition.
Posted on January 16, 2015 11:47am
The Land Policy Insitute was hard at work in 2014 seeking funding for valuable initiatives with MSU and stakeholder partners, which resulted in more than $1 million in new grants and contracts for 2015. This update features some of the projects that LPI and PZC has recently embarked or that will continue in 2015.
Posted on December 18, 2014 2:54pm
Mary Beth Graebert, from the Land Policy Institute, looks at recent developments with the East Lansing Park District and discusses different elements of the plan and how they could lead to success for the City and Greater Lansing Region.
Posted on December 17, 2014 9:49am
This year, the Institute’s contribution to research and outreach efforts have ranged widely to include such topics as placemaking, regionalism, economic development, corridor improvement and improving water quality in the Great Lakes, among others.
Posted on November 12, 2014 5:42pm
The relationship between the built environment and Michigan’s economy was the topic at the forefront of presentations as researchers, State agency representatives, local and federal officials, developers, MSU students and the public gathered for the 2014 Built Environment Showcase. The conference took place on Nov. 7 at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. This was the second time this conference was held. The first was in 2012.
More than 200 individuals attended the 2014 Built Environment Showcase. The conference was co-hosted by the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC); the MSU Land Policy Institute; MSU Auxiliary Enterprises; the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA); the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC); and Prima Civitas.