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The Value of Building Communities Around People
Edited by Colleen Layton, Tawny Pruitt, and Kim Cekola. The Michigan Municipal League, 2011, 175 pp., $14.95 paperback
The first decade of the 21st Century was not kind to Michigan. In 2000, the state ranked 18th in per capita income. By 2009, Michigan was 37th — a virtual free-fall. Speaking of which, Detroit lost 25 percent of its population, or an estimated 237,000 residents, during the decade.
The auto industry has recently made a comeback and Michigan’s budget is in surplus. Nevertheless, no one expects the state or Detroit to return to their former days of industrial glory. A new plan is needed.
Dramatic shifts in economic fortune can get leaders to think outside of the box. That may be why Michigan has emerged as a national leader in recognizing the potential of placemaking for economic development.
In April, Gov. Rick Snyder launched the state’s MIplace Initiative (miplace.org), which ties place to economic development. The Michigan Municipal League published The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People in late 2011.
The Economics of Place consists of 10 essays from leaders in Michigan and throughout the US that wonderfully pull together diverse aspects of placemaking —