This session featured a case study with potential replicability at the state, regional or local levels. The presenters explained how a small group of stakeholders organized as a Sense of Place Council (SOPC) and then grew to include three dozen stakeholder organization. The focus was on improving the quality and amount of redevelopment in targeted centers (downtowns), and at key nodes along key corridors by use of effective placemaking that is rooted in good urban form and broad stakeholder participation. This session reviewed some of the products produced by the MIplace Partnership Initiative supported by the SOPC:
An innovative six-module Placemaking Curriculum with more than 100 trainers (and more than 15,000 people trained),
Funding and preparation of two dozen PlacePlans across the state,
Realignment of state grant spending around placemaking objectives,
Promotion of a Redevelopment Ready Communities certification program, and
Preparation of a 600-page Placemaking Guidebook; among many other products.
Attendees learned about the benefits that come from marshaling the energy and resources of many groups around creation of quality places; how focusing the unique skills of different organizations to problem solve or target actions on issues of common interest can result in better and more certain outcomes than attempting to address them alone; the power of the talent-business-place triangle in creating stronger communities; how targeted placemaking that utilizes the unique strengths of Creative, Tactical, Standard and Strategic Placemaking can return better quality-of-life and economic development benefits; and ways state agencies can redirect resources to produce synergies and benefits across multiple agencies and communities.