2017 LPI Year in Review
This year, the LPI’s contribution to research and outreach efforts have included such topics as placemaking, planning and zoning, economic development, regionalism, legacy cities, tourism, natural resources management and land use, among others.
This year, the Land Policy Institute (LPI)’s contribution to research and outreach efforts have included such topics as placemaking, planning and zoning, economic development, regionalism, legacy cities, tourism, natural resources management and land use, among others. The Institute has been working with many units on campus, as well as stakeholders and policy makers in the state and nationwide in support of building and maintaining sustainable communities in Michigan.
LPI Leadership Change
On Mar. 17, it was announced that LPI transitioned to new leadership. Dean Ronald Hendrick from CANR named Mark Wyckoff, the senior associate director since 2006, as interim director of LPI for the balance of 2017.
LPI Welcomes Mimi Gong
The LPI welcomed Mimi Gong to the team in May. She is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At LPI, in her role as geospatial analyst, Gong has contributed to preparing data, developing content, visualizing products and conducting economic impacts studies for LPI’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers national recreation projects.
The MSU University Outreach and Engagement held their Awards Ceremony on Feb. 21, 2017. This year, the Engaged Teaching Award was presented to a team, including LPI’s Mark Wyckoff, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Municipal League, for their work on the MIplace Partnership Initiative.
A MSU study shows partnerships with private sector, innovative approach yields big results for Kent County in terms of job creation and economic impact. Over the last four years, the Kent County Land Bank Authority generated $42.9 million in estimated economic impact and 266 jobs in Kent County, according to an economic impact analysis by LPI released Apr. 25, 2017.
The LPI received funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study a web-based GIS system in support of USACE’s Visitation Estimation and Reporting System and the Natural Resources Risk Assessment Tool. The purpose of this grant is to provide the USACE with research and technical capabilities (e.g., GIS, programming, quantitative modeling and statistics) to assist in addressing current and emerging priorities for the Natural Resources Program (Recreation and Environmental Stewardship). Assistant Professor Yue Cui from LPI is leading this effort.
RTI International and MSU receive $1.5M grant from U.S. Coast Guard to conduct the National Recreational Boating Survey
RTI International and the MSU Center for Economic and Spatial Analysis for Planning and Management in LPI received funding from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to conduct the National Recreational Boating Survey under the Boating Safety Data Collection and Analysis Program. RTI International was awarded a $1.5M grant for this project, of which MSU received $135K. The purpose of this three-year grant is to produce valid and reliable national estimates of recreational boating participation and of recreational boating exposure measures by type and size of boat for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Assistant Professor Yue Cui from LPI is leading this effort.
MSUE & LPI delivered Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act trainings, launch resources web page
From February through mid-March, MSU Extension and LPI collaborated to deliver training to more than 800 people on the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act passed in 2016. Attendees learned about options in prohibiting or accepting and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, growing facilities, processing, product testing and transport facilities.
One of the important missions of LPI is to share knowledge from research and outreach with broad audiences to help them solve existing problems and prevent future ones. To those ends, LPI’s interim director Mark Wyckoff and Holly Madill, former LPI outreach specialist, along with several MSU Extension (MSUE) and SPDC colleagues were busy making many public presentations from February through May. In short:
- Wyckoff; Bo Duncan, from LPI and the MSU Institute of Water Research; and Kurt Schindler, formerly from MSU Extension, taught eight classes in two intensive days of the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program in February in Plymouth.
- Wyckoff traveled to Hong Kong later in February to share insights at the 11th Annual Conference on International Planning, Law, and Property Rights on intervention strategies to first prevent blighted structures, then contain and minimize damage from blighted structures, and finally on how to engage in appropriate mitigation strategies, such as blight removal followed by green reuse or redevelopment projects.
- Wyckoff taught two of the MSUE Medical Marijuana trainings in East Lansing in February, and in Richmond in March.
- Wyckoff taught three Michigan Citizen Planner Program classes in March, April and May in Macomb, Berrien and Grand Traverse counties, respectively.
- Mary Beth Graebert, formerly with LPI, and Professor Mohammed El-Gafy from the SPDC, shared results of an infrastructure management/land use planning study conducted by LPI in Saginaw at the Water Infrastructure Conference in Flint in March, and Wyckoff and El-Gafy repeated the presentation at the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference in Detroit in May.
- Wyckoff presented on Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool at the Illinois Housing Conference in Chicago in March, at the Watershed Summit in Lansing in March, and at the Michigan Townships Association Conference in Lansing in April.
- Wyckoff and Madill presented a New Economy Zoominar in April.
- Wyckoff made a brief rollout presentation on the Kent County Land Bank Study in Grand Rapids in April.
- Madill presented on the use of the Placemaking Guidebook to staff of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in May.
- Wyckoff presented on recent zoning case law, and new and pending legislation at the Michigan Association of Planning Spring Institute in Lansing in May.
Mark Wyckoff, interim director of LPI, gave the opening address on “Placemaking for Quality Places” on Sept. 15 at the Heritage Conference 2017 kickoff in South Lyon. This was the 20th Annual Oakland County Conference on Making Places, which was hosted by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs. During his presentation, Wyckoff described the characteristics of a wide variety of quality places and how communities can use different placemaking techniques to create or expand quality places—especially in downtowns.
The IGLUS hosted the Detroit-NYC module Sept. 4-15, 2017, where three SPDC faculty presented during a five-day seminar. Professor Mark Wilson, PhD, MSU Urban & Regional Planning (URP) Program in SPDC, addressed the group on “Modern Transportation and Autonomous Vehicles,” while Rex LaMore, URP Senior Specialist and director of the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development, presented on “Domicology: Abandoned Property and Land Management. The LPI’s Mark Wyckoff (an adjunct professor with URP) presented on “Planning & Regulating Vacant Land for Open Space & Green Development in Legacy Cities.” Most of his examples were from Detroit.
For the second year in a row, the Zoning Administrator Certificate Program offered by the Planning & Zoning Center has expanded its capacity to accommodate the growing interest in the program; and, for the second year in a row, it has filled all available seats for the training. The increased interest in the program is likely a combination of the value of the course in conjunction with local governments’ ability to invest in professional development of its staff again, a luxury that many communities couldn’t afford during the Great Recession. This annual event was held Feb. 15-16, 2017, in Plymouth.
LPI Placemaking Articles
The LPI continued its Placemaking Guidebook article series into 2017. This article focuses on five essential commitments that communities must make toward walkable places.
The Cadillac Commons site is to be a year-round destination and downtown hub, hosting seasonal events and providing an attractive connection between the businesses on Cadillac’s main street, Mitchell Street and Lake Cadillac one block to the west. The placemaking principles featured in the Cadillac Commons project are highlighted in the LPI’s Placemaking Guidebook, which is available to order for free. You can learn how to achieve similar success in your own community.