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Let’s Take a Walk – Healthy Habits Spur Economic Well-Being

Downtown Port Huron
(Jeffrey M. Smith / Times Herald)
Throughout 2016, Port Huron saw an increase in downtown development. More residential lofts, storefronts, a boutique movie theater, and expanding restaurants peppered the city’s main corridor with more slated development in the coming year. While Port Huron’s walkability rating is on the higher end, however, there is still room for improvement. Read more... Read more

Revamped City Planning Aims at Neighborhood Revivals

Maurice Cox is the director of the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department (Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press)
Under Detroit’s new Director of Planning, Maurice Cox, the city’s planning efforts now focus not on the already revitalizing downtown but in places where city planners for decades have paid little if any attention — Detroit’s hard-hit neighborhoods. Read more... Read more

‘Agrihood’ Project Focuses on Farm-to-Table in Detroit

Officials at the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative unveiled a partnership  that will help transform this long-vacant apartment building into a community center and cafe to anchor its growing agricultural campus (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)
Detroit officials announced a partnership that will help transform a long-vacant apartment building into a community center and cafe to anchor its growing agricultural campus. The project is being touted as the nation’s first urban “agrihood,” an alternative neighborhood that’s built around the farm-to-table model featured mainly in rural and suburban settings. Read more... Read more

Michigan Municipal League CEO Discusses Development Strategies to Enhance City Appeal

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, discusses why placemaking is an important economic development strategy (Haley McLaughlin/ Michigan Daily)
Dan Gilmartin, the executive director and CEO of the nonprofit Michigan Municipal League, spoke on urban development, aiming at educating students about placemaking, which is an economic strategy to boost city appeal by sponsoring events or creating interesting sites to attract a community. Examples of placemaking include areas like Campus Martius, a park between office buildings in downtown Detroit, and events that bring a community together like ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Read more... Read more

Mayors of Anchorage, Grand Rapids, San Jose, and Washington, D.C., Selected as 2017 Daniel Rose Fellows

anchorage-skyline-donna-dewhurst
The National League of Cities (NLC) and ULI announced that mayors from four U.S. cities—Anchorage, Alaska; Grand Rapids, Michigan; San Jose, California; and Washington, D.C.—have been selected as the 2017 class of Daniel Rose fellows by the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use. Mayors will lead teams from their cities, which will receive technical assistance on a local land use challenge from NLC, ULI, and their peers from the other fellowship cities. The Rose Center’s mission is to... Read more

Turning Detroit’s Abandoned Homes Into Greenhouses

(Laura McDermott / The Atlantic)
Two years after Detroit emerged from bankruptcy, its urban-farming scene is flourishing, with some 1,400 farms and community gardens spread across the city’s 139 square miles. Many local growers worry that they will be uprooted as the city woos development projects, and with them, much-needed taxes and jobs. But green spaces don’t have to be at odds with revitalization, says Maurice Cox, the city’s director of planning and development, who notes that farms and gardens are a key element of... Read more

Webinar: Strategic Partnerships in Detroit to Create Stronger Connections between Youth and the Trades

Credit: FastCoExist
Long-term investments are sorely needed to connect youth to the trades – and to change the general public’s perception of the trades – but we can’t lose sight of the partnerships already taking place. The Urban Manufacturing Alliance’s Workforce Community of Practice will feature two organizations’ creative partnerships to bringing youth into the trades. Both examples of partnerships demonstrate intentional inclusion of underserved communities and the benefit manufacturing jobs can bring to them and their communities. Register now... Read more

Detroit’s Downtown Rebounds, but Neighborhoods Lag Behind

A vacant house in Detroit's Brush Park neighborhood (Rebecca Cook / Reuters)
While downtown and Midtown are on the rise, several other neighborhoods have yet to bounce back from population loss, disinvestment and scores of foreclosures. The under-construction Little Caesars Arena, which house the Detroit Pistons and the Red Wings, is the centerpiece of a coming 50-block entertainment district in a part of downtown that’s already nearly at capacity with new residents and new businesses. But some say the city is missing the kind of targeted spending that could reduce the number... Read more
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