Moving Michigan Forward: Thought Leaders Helping the State Develop Strategies

October 4, 2013
by John Warbach, Karli Anderson, Brad Beck, Trixi Ayahr Beeker, Bobby Busley, Kat Clear, Erika Doroghazi, Michael French, Kevin Gill, Alex Iseler, Matt Jamnik, Samantha Kaplan, Brandon Kawalec, Michelle LeBlanc, Melinda McIntosh, Chad Rossiter, Mark Sleeman a

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Ideas from 17 national and state thought leaders provide important information that Michigan could use to: Identify how to recognize the mistakes Michigan has made and then to move the state’s thinking forward, including making places that will attract people and economic growth; working together at the regional level; and working to restore Detroit, the success of which is necessary for Michigan to restore itself.

The MSU Land Policy Institute (LPI) has published the special report, Moving Michigan Forward: Thought Leaders on Helping the State Develop Strategies, which highlights important strategies and recommendations and advice for the state in the areas of:

  • Moving Michigan Thinking Forward;
  • Moving toward Regionalism; and
  • Moving Detroit Forward.

During the 2011 Fall semester, Michigan State University students enrolled in the ESA 450: Smart Growth and Strategic Land Use Decision-Making course were asked to interview the leaders as part of a semester project on such topics as economic development, land use, the environment, urban design, government and social justice. The course was taught by Soji Adelaja, PhD, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy; and John Warbach, PhD, LPI associate director.

The Michigan leaders interviewed included:

  • Joe Borgstrom, Director of the Downtown and Community Service Division for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
  • Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative.
  • Eugene Jones, President and CEO of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and former Executive Director of the Detroit Housing Commission.
  • Peter Kageyama, Co-Founder and Producer of the Creative Cities Summit and Author of “For the Love of Cities.”
  • Alece Montez, Senior Associate of Rocky Mountain Projects for the Orton Family Foundation in Denver, CO.
  • Bill Rustem, Director of Strategic Policy for Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder.
  • Rachael Franks Taylor, Director of Coastal Conservation for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Michigan Chapter.
  • James van Ravensway, Instructor in the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University; and former Planning Director for the City of East Lansing.
  • Gilbert White, Land Use Policy and Placemaking Consultant.
  • Dan Wyant, Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and former President of the Edward Lowe Foundation.