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LPI's Graebert and Warbach featured speakers at MSU Real Estate Lecture

Two staff members from the Land Policy Institute provided guest lectures to Professor Heidi Bulich’s Real Estate Class in MSU’s Business College on April 25, 2012.

Two staff members from the Land Policy Institute provided guest lectures to Professor Heidi Bulich’s Real Estate Class in MSU’s Business College on April 25, 2012. Students were very engaged during the presentations and asked several insightful questions.

Mary Beth Graebert, MSU Land Policy Institute’s associate director for programs and operations, presented information from a recent research and outreach project on Building Prosperous Places in Michigan, which focuses on the added value that placemaking brings to the built environment, specifically residential homes. This study included a hedonic valuation to determine whether placemaking features, such as walkability, mixed use and green space, contributed to higher priced homes in Lansing, Traverse City and Royal Oak. It also featured surveys of three major stakeholder groups involved in placemaking activities: developers, local governments and financial institutions.

The study team concluded that there do appear to be positive relationships between some placemaking elements and housing price, but some results were not entirely clear or intuitive. Therefore, LPI, with support of a grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Association of Realtors, is embarking on a second phase study to improve the findings. Also, a majority of the survey respondents seemed to recognize a relationship between placemaking and economic development, but they cited numerous barriers to implementing these projects in their communities.

John Warbach, PhD, co-instructor of the ESA 450: Smart Growth and Strategic Land Use Decision-Making class and LPI associate director, gave a presentation built on the Real Estate Class project to explore Moving Michigan Forward: National Thought Leaders Speak on New Economy, New Strategies, New Places. This report is the first in a three-part series based on interviews of state, national and international thought leaders on how the world is changing and what challenges and opportunities that reality brings to Michigan. The interviews were conducted by students in the ESA 450 class, as part of a research project for the course.

During his talk, Warbach also explored the results of interviews focused specifically on the thoughts of state leaders, which will be released soon in the second report of the series. The third volume is currently being compiled. The Michigan-based thought leaders offered suggestions to other statewide leaders and citizens to help diversify our economy, improve the educational attainment of our students, to plan and implement economic development activities regionally, to make our places more inviting, and to support the recovery of Detroit—all essential ideas for moving Michigan forward.

Graebert’s presentation and results from phase one of the Building Prosperous Places in Michigan study—both Summary and Full (Part I, Part II and Part III) report versions—are available for download online.

Warbach’s presentation and the first Moving Michigan Forward report are also available for download.

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