Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool, a guidebook every community should have

The MSU Land Policy Institute claims 2016 as the Year of Placemaking!

The Land Policy Institute has identified four types of placemaking: Standard, Tactical, Creative and Strategic.

The MSU Land Policy Institute claims 2016 as the Year of Placemaking! Each month, LPI will publish an article focused on an aspect of placemaking that is pulled from the newly released guidebook titled Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool, which is a must-have resource for communities of any size.

The nearly 600-page comprehensive guidebook is divided into four parts, with two to four chapters in each. Part One provides an overview of placemaking, explains the demographic and market preference shifts that are driving the need for placemaking, as well as its economic benefits. Part Two covers the form and structure of neighborhoods, and why that’s critical for effective placemaking.

Part Three highlights the many ways to engage and collaborate with the public and stakeholders on projects, as well as the development of placemaking projects and plans. It walks the reader through the steps of how to prepare placemaking plans or add elements into existing plans. Then, the kind of regulatory structure that can be put in place to facilitate placemaking, with a special focus on form-based codes, is addressed.

Part 4 explores in depth the four types of placemaking, which were introduced in the first chapter and referenced throughout the publication. Each placemaking type gets its own chapter.

The concept of “placemaking as an economic development tool” is something that Governor Snyder has promoted since he entered office. In fact, three of his first four addresses to the legislature incorporated placemaking. Many state departments have incorporated this concept into their programs and supported projects.

This guidebook will be a useful resource in helping communities focus on talent attraction and retention. This is critical for Michigan’s long-term success in the global economy. The end of each chapter includes a case example of placemaking in action. These case studies highlight Michigan communities, beginning with Campus Martius in Detroit in Chapter 1. Campus Martius is featured in no small measure, because it’s probably what most experts would say is one of the top 10 most significant and effective placemaking projects ever engaged in in the US, let alone in Michigan.

Overall, the guidebook features at least 300 graphics previously published by other organizations, universities, and state, local and national experts, because of their strong support for the work that is happening in the area of placemaking. Ideally the guidebook will make these concepts easier to understand and help guide the successful application of placemaking.

The goal of this publication is for those new to the topic to gain a rudimentary understanding of key elements and issues associated with placemaking after reading the guidebook. For those with existing placemaking experience, it can also be a go-to resource for new project ideas, or ways to help solve related challenges in their communities.

The Placemaking Guidebook is available for FREE as an electronic (PDF) publication. To order your copy, visit: Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool.

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