MSU's Kotval & Wilson share urban & regional planning ideas for East Lansing’s park district

On October 14, 2013, Mlive published two guest columns from Dr. Zenia Kotval and Dr. Mark Wilson, both Urban & Regional Planning Program faculty in the School of Planning Design and Construction at Michigan State University.

October 15, 2013 - Author: SPDC Communications

On October 14, 2013, Mlive published two guest columns from Dr. Zenia Kotval and Dr. Mark Wilson, both Urban & Regional Planning Program faculty in the School of Planning Design and Construction at Michigan State University. Dr. Kotval and Dr. Wilson have more than 40 years of combined national and international planning experience between them. They were asked by Mive what they would envision for the East Lansing Park District on the West end of the City's downtown.

Their columns are a compliment for the upcoming public meeting to discuss ideas at a Design Workshop Charrette to be held on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, from 5:30pm-8pm, at the MSU Eli and Edith Broad Art Museum in East Lansing. This is the second of three charrettes the DTN and the City of East Lansing are co-hosting. The third charrette, focusing on Design Follow-Up and Presentations, will take place on Thursday, November 14, 2013, from 6:30pm-9pm, at the East Lansing Marriott in East Lansing.

Dr. Zenia Kotval shared how she believes in designating downtowns as special districts and concentrating efforts to make them unique and thriving places for pleasure and commerce.

She wrote on Mlive.com: “Our downtown districts are too valuable to leave to market forces alone. They are the center of civic functions, home to our local history and often, our traditional market place; they deserve to have special treatment. This includes strong marketing assistance, special financial programs and strong public private partnerships. They require creating design assistance programs, flexible zoning provisions and parking requirements, and even applying for grants to assist local merchants.

Dr. Mark Wilson also expressed his views on the upcoming charrette in East Lansing: "The measure of a vital community is the life it expresses to residents and visitors. Vibrancy comes from pedestrians comfortable with being in the area, and from streetscapes comprising places worth lingering, such as cafes and restaurants, compelling retail space and public art. Urban spaces sparkle and pulse with music and performance, with buskers a sure indicator of a place to spend time and to enjoy."

Learn more about the Park District Community Input Meetings. For more news and updates from the SPDC Urban & Regional Planning Program, visit URP News.

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