Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool

APA Pennsylvania Chapter


Wednesday, July 19, 2017
noon - 1:15 p.m. EDT

CM | 1.25

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Michigan was hit hard by the Great Recession - perhaps more so than any other state in the nation. It’s industrial past, aging infrastructure, and reliance on manufacturing limited the state’s economic recovery. What was need was a new strategy, one that accounted for the realities of the New Economy, one that focused more on enhancing quality of life in order to attract population and again be competitive. From the governor’s office down, state and local leaders have embraced place making – creating communities where people want to live, work, play and learn – as a key economic development strategy. State agencies have revamped programs to be reflective of place making and have developed new priorities to invest in communities that embrace place making. The also State turned to Michigan State University (MSU) Extension to develop educational training materials on strategies Michigan communities could take in order to improve quality of life, stabilize population loss, attract talent, and restore economic prosperity.


MSU Extension developed the Michigan Placemaking Curriculum – a comprehensive training of more than 33 hours of educational material and hands-on exercises, trained hundreds of community development professionals who have in-turn trained more than 15,000 Michigan local officials, led dozens of hands-on place making design workshops with specific communities. The team even wrote a 600 page guidebook like no other on the discipline of place making called Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool. With the help of these initiatives, the State of Michigan has come to be known as The Comeback State.


Learn about the concept of place making as an economic development tool, Michigan’s focus on place making over the past five year, and the new resource developed by MSU for planners and economic developers called Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool


Bradley Neumann, AICP

Bradley Neumann AICP serves as an educational resource for local and tribal governments across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the areas of land use planning and zoning, community and economic development, and general governance topics including effective meetings and civic engagement. He specializes in Placemaking, local government climate adaptation and ... Read More

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Susan Shermer,