Michigan State University releases ground-breaking guidebook on placemaking

The Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University, in collaboration with the MIplace Partnership Initiative, announces the release of a guidebook titled Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool.

Front cover of the Placemaking Guidebook. Photo by Leisa Thompson, courtesy of the City of Ann Arbor, DDA.

CONTACT: Heidi Macwan, charron@landpolicy.msu.edu, (517) 353-4454

Introduces four types of placemaking: Standard, Tactical, Creative and Strategic

East Lansing, MI—The Land Policy Institute (LPI) at Michigan State University (MSU), in collaboration with the MIplace™ Partnership Initiative, announces the release of a guidebook titled Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. It is the most comprehensive publication on placemaking to date, drawing from the best works available. This complete guide seeks to assist neighborhoods and communities with quickly reshaping their thinking and acting on how effective placemaking can greatly enhance community and economic development. It includes a summary of the research that supports placemaking, and identifies the related elements (good form, public engagement, planning processes and the regulatory tools) to achieve it. The guidebook then takes a deep dive into each of the four types of placemaking that can be used to create new and vibrant quality places, which are critical to talent attraction and retention.

With an emphasis on economic aspects of placemaking, this tool is particularly valuable in states, regions and localities that are attempting to reshape their communities to again be competitive in the global New Economy. Appropriate for municipalities of all shapes and sizes, including those facing different sets of challenges, this guidebook includes case examples of placemaking in action, and highlights various organizations, tools and resources that can be employed, engaged and adapted to meet a community’s unique situations.

In 2012, LPI, along with MSU Extension Educators, developed the Michigan Placemaking Curriculum, as part of the MIplace™ Partnership Initiative, with funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Since 2013, about 15,000 people have attended trainings on some parts of the curriculum. The guidebook was developed based off this curriculum.

Gary Heidel, MSHDA’s chief placemaking officer, said, “This guidebook represents the conversion of the best parts of the Placemaking Curriculum into an easy-to-read-and-use publication. It is expected to help many communities quickly understand how to create and implement effective placemaking projects.”

Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool is an excellent resource for state, regional and local policy makers, planning and development professionals, civic and business leaders and college professors. The techniques and strategies discussed within can be used to create an improved “sense of place,” enhance local quality of life, attract talented workers, and establish an environment for economic competitiveness. It can also assist in the (re)development of vibrant places where people are drawn to live, work, play, shop, learn and visit.

To order your FREE digital copy today, visit: http://landpolicy.msu.edu/resources/pmedtguidebook.

Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool was funded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (Grant Numbers HDF-227, HDF-228, HDF-261, and HDF-293).

The MIplace™ Partnership Initiative is a statewide initiative with the purpose of keeping Michigan at the forefront of a national movement known as placemaking. It’s a simple concept that people choose to live in places that offer the amenities, resources, social and professional networks, and opportunities to support thriving lifestyles. The MIplace™ Partnership embraced this idea and understands that vibrant, successful regions promote economic activity and will help build a better Michigan. Their job is to help communities re-examine the importance of everyday settings and experiences that shape our lives—the downtowns, parks, plazas, main streets, neighborhoods and markets that influence where we live and how we interact. Placemaking enhances the ability to transform towns, cities and regions. Visit: www.miplace.org.

The Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University, founded in 2006, seeks to make a positive difference in addressing current and future public and private land use challenges in Michigan, the Midwest and beyond, through our three focus areas (Placemaking & Regional Prosperity, Land & Planning and Land-Based Resources). It works in partnership with groups on campus and outside the University on research, outreach and education initiatives that enrich community, economic and family life through the development of effective land use policies, strategies and best practices. The LPI is affiliated with the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction. It is supported by MSU, MSU Extension and federal, foundation and state grants and contracts. Visit: http://landpolicy.msu.edu/

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges. Visit: http://msu.edu/.

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