MSU and MML Team Again on Placemaking Initiatives with MSHDA

Michigan State University and the Michigan Municipal League are pleased to once again partner with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in provision of placemaking training, research, planning and policy assistance.

Michigan State University--including the MSU Land Policy Institute (LPI), the MSU Extension Community, Food & Environment Institute (CFEI) and faculty and students from the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC)--and the Michigan Municipal League (MML) are pleased to once again partner with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in provision of placemaking training, research, planning and policy assistance. The activities of both organizations are covered in a $720K contract. This work builds on a prior contract from 2012 that LPI and MML received from MSHDA for groundwork on several major placemaking initiatives.

These activities from June 2012 to July 2013 included:

  • The LPI and CFEI prepared a six-module placemaking curriculum that can be presented from one to six hours per module; 

  • The LPI and CFEI trained about 100 professionals to deliver the placemaking curriculum;

  • The SPDC and MML prepared four PlacePlans (in Alpena, Sault Ste. Marie, Dearborn and Allegan);

  • The LPI provided support to the State Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee - Placemaking Partnership Sub-committee to identify coordination opportunities, training and policy improvements to incorporate placemaking principles into State agency grant programs; and

  • The MML coordinated provision of trainers and hand-out materials to more than 100 training programs reaching about 4,000 participants.

The new MSHDA contract for September 2013 through August 2014 will continue placemaking training; continue with the creation of eight new PlacePlans by MML and SPDC (faculty and students); result in a new placemaking guidebook by LPI with assistance from CFEI; and create a new tool to assist local governments with a self-assessment of their placemaking capacity.

The two leads on this contract are LPI's Senior Associate Director, Mark Wyckoff, and MML's Director of Strategic Initiatives, Arnold WeinfeldGary Heidel, Director of Program Policy & Market Research at MSHDA and Jim Tischler, Director of Community Development at MSDHA, are the two key State agency leads.

This work will support further implementation of placemaking principles across Michigan and support the efforts of the Michigan Sense of Place Council. Visit MIPlace for comprehensive placemaking information and assistance. Questions about LPI's placemaking work can be addressed to Mark Wyckoff at or call 517.432.2222.

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