Michigan’s Critical Assets: An Atlas for Regional Partnerships and Placemaking for Prosperity

March 23, 2010
by Soji Adelaja, Chuck McKeown and Benjamin Calnin

Download the Atlas PDFs:

On March 23, 2010, the Land Policy Institute released the Michigan’s Critical Assets: An Atlas for Regional Partnerships and Placemaking for Prosperity in the Global New Econom at the LPI legislative forum on Policies for Placemaking. The publication presents the geography of critical assets in Michigan, in some cases contrasting these to other parts of the country. The idea is to offer decision makers the opportunity to understand the underlying resource base available for them to draw on in developing visions and strategies for regional economic development.

Out of this Atlas comes a new understanding of the configuration of critical assets within the state of Michigan. It is immediately apparent from studying this Atlas that individual townships, villages and cities do not stand alone. These places represent part of a regional economic engine, and do not possess, by themselves, the depth or breadth of assets to be globally competitive or visible, especially in the New Economy. New regions are emerging around the world that have a distinct persona, asset configuration, economic purpose, strategy, cultural identity and global connectivity—this is Michigan’s competition.

The Atlas captures statewide assets categorized as New Economy, green infrastructure, quality of life, renewable energy and knowledge assets in a series of detailed, colorful maps, along with explanatory text. It provides visual evidence of how asset-rich Michigan is, and it can help communities understand what they have available to build their economic futures. It also was a key tool of the LPI Michigan Prosperity Initiative and was used to help regions and the state in the development of strategic growth plans.