LPI’s Madill shared placemaking expertise at the MSU CCED 2015 Contemporary Issues Institute

posted on April 17, 2015 12:23pm

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Holly Madill from the MSU Land Policy Institute's Planning & Zoning Center (view larger image) Holly Madill from the MSU Land Policy Institute's Planning & Zoning Center

BY: LPI Communications

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. Other session panelists included:

  • David Bulkowski from the Disability Advocates of Kent County, and
  • Tracy Brower, PhD, from Herman Miller.

Madill focused her presentation on how the built environment can impact how people feel and behave. She began with an excerpt from a forthcoming guidebook from LPI, which describes an ideal mid-sized city that is people-oriented and where people want to live, work, play, learn and visit. This story illustrated the elements of quality places that promote civility, including storefronts right up against sidewalks; lots of activity for all kinds of interests that honor local culture and heritage; accessibility and safety for everyone; destinations that are connected; density that supports business and transit; buildings that may be historic and are mixed use; choices in transportation and housing; and linked green and civic spaces. She also talked about how places have changed over time and discussed some of the challenges that Michigan communities face today. She concluded with the message that placemaking is one tool that communities can use to create quality places that support civility. Some of the discussion that occurred afterward centered on the role of zoning and how it can either hinder or support the development and maintenance of quality places in our communities.