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LPI’s Graebert shared placemaking expertise at MSHDA’s Building Michigan Communities Confenference

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority hosted the 15th annual Building Michigan Communities Conference (formerly known as the Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing) April 29-May 1, 2013, in downtown Lansing.

Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of programs and operations, MSU Land Policy Institute

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) hosted the 15th annual Building Michigan Communities Conference (formerly known as the Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing) April 29-May 1, 2013, in downtown Lansing. The focus of the event was on “Housing, Assets, People, Partners.”

On Wednesday, May 1, Mary Beth Graebert, the MSU Land Poilcy Institute’s associate director for programs and operations, participated in the session on “Placemaking in Michigan: What Residents Want!” Other panelists included:

  • Jamie Schriner-Hooper from the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (moderator);
  • Sean Mann from the Michigan Municipal League (MML);
  • Julie Hales-Smith from the MIplace Partnership; and
  • Gilbert White from the Michigan Association of Realtors.

The session focused on the impact of placemaking on economic development and quality of life in Michigan communities, and provided some examples of how placemaking can be done in effective and efficient ways. It included presentations on an MSU Land Policy Institute study about the value and perceptions of placemaking, the Michigan Association of Realtors' "Creating Great Places" initiative, the State of Michigan’s MIplace initiative, the PlacePlans initiative (a partnership effort by MSU, MML and MSHDA) and the MML’s PlaceMarket tool.

During her presentation on “Rebuilding Prosperous Places in Michigan,” Graebert presented preliminary results from placemaking surveys and a valuation study. Specifically, she presented initial findings from a national placemaking survey, a Midwest Home and Neighborhood Survey and a Midwest Property Price Assessment. For the national placemaking survey, she shared results on views of placemaking, what people want in their neighborhoods (such as access to different types of grocery shopping, retail shopping, restaurants, and arts and culture), and how walkability might come in to play. For the Midwest Home and Neighborhood survey, Graebert identified the 11 cities in the study, outlined the factors that influenced home purchase decisions and how far people are willing to walk to reach a destination, and highlighted other important factors related to neighborhoods, such as aesthetics and safety. For the Midwest Property Price Analysis, she discussed how the hedonic analysis can show how much more people are willing to pay for a house that has certain features, including walkability, and offered conclusions on what different population segments are looking for and how to attract and retain these segments, as well as how education about placemaking could be beneficial for rebuilding prosperous places. 

Graebert’s presentation is available online at Rebuilding Prosperous Places in Michigan. Check future editions of Land Policy News to learn more about this study. Be sure to check out this related LPI study:

  • Building Prosperous Places in Michigan: Understanding the Values of, Perceptions of and Barriers to Placemaking - Full Report, Part I, Part II and Part III; and

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