Michigan builds economic development around placemaking
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The administration of Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder launched a program in April that ties placemaking to economic development and, although the initiative is in its early stages, has the potential for far-reaching impact.
The MIplace Initiative embraces the ambitious goal of constructing “a Transect-based approach to good development in Michigan” while using the mixed-use neighborhood as a development model, according to James Tischler, community development director for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
Better! Cities & Towns interviewed Tischler by phone and also received an email response from the agency. “Two central activities of this [Place] Council are to promote principles and practices which create regions, downtowns, and neighborhoods that are attractive places to live, work, and play, and to engage in strategic activities that lead to the retention and attraction of talent,” explained MSHDA staff member Leslie Kettren.
More than a dozen nonprofit organizations throughout Michigan have joined the partnership and sit on the Place Council. Getting widespread support and input from nongovernmental groups is key for success, the organizers believe. Yet Snyder has asked that MIplace move forward “in dog years,” Tischler says. The goal is to marshal “A significant amount of state, regional, local and private resources