Tag Archives: Michigan

The secrets to reviving struggling downtowns? Taller buildings, narrower streets and on-street parking can help

Struggling downtown Birmingham, Michigan
In the 1990s Downtown Birmingham, Michigan, which served a city of more than 20,000 located about halfway between Detroit and Pontiac, needed a change. Today, though, downtown Birmingham is thriving. The city’s central business strip has been lauded as one of the most walkable and pedestrian-friendly downtowns in the country, and the successful revitalization of downtown Birmingham should serve as a blueprint to other urban areas struggling to provide a boost to their struggling downtowns. Read more... Read more

Revitalizing Neighborhoods and Engaging Youth

revitalizing-neighborhoods-engaging-youth
Faculty and staff from the University of Michigan Prevention Research Center and the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center have worked with partners in the Flint and Genesee County communities for over two decades. Over the past few years, Flint has been front and center in the news because of high rates of crime and violence, and more recently the water crisis. What we see in the news, however, doesn’t tell the story of the tremendous efforts and successes of community... Read more

Placemaking is Economic Development

detroit-riverfront
After years of economic decline, Michigan’s cities needed rebuilding, but officials knew they had to take a new approach if they wanted their communities to be economically sustainable. Recognizing the potential of placemaking to attract and retain talented workers and businesses, Michigan is using strategic placemaking (combining the tools of smart growth and new urbanism) to target places and accelerate revitalization. In this webinar, experts Jim Tischler and Mark Wyckoff explained how strategic placemaking and broad stakeholder participation is improving... Read more

We Need Code Reform: How Do We Get There?

Petosky, Michigan (Source: CNU Public Square)
We know that traditional zoning and development codes can be harmful to building strong, prosperous communities. So why has progress been so slow—why do rules that actively hinder the development that we say we want persist in most of our cities and villages? The Michigan Municipal League recently hosted a workshop that connected five Michigan cities with a team of national development code-writing experts convened by Congress for the New Urbanism to dig into this question. Read more... Read more

Design in Detroit: The Art of Building Rehab

The revitalized College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan
Had the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mich. built its new school from scratch, there’s a good chance students would be toiling away in isolated classrooms right now. They surely wouldn’t be an elevator ride from a startup incubator, or steps from an arched auditorium that draws international luminaries to events. But the school didn’t build new. It accepted a neglected building donated by General Motors: the historic Argonaut, a 760,000-square-foot research center originally built in 1928. Read more... Read more

Webinar: Placemaking is Economic Development

webinar-flyer-placemaking
After years of economic decline, Michigan’s cities needed rebuilding, but officials knew they had to take a new approach if they wanted their communities to be economically sustainable. Recognizing the potential of placemaking to attract and retain talented workers and businesses, Michigan is using strategic placemaking (combining the tools of smart growth and new urbanism) to target places and accelerate revitalization. In this webinar, experts will explain how strategic placemaking and broad stakeholder participation is improving the quality and amount... Read more

Four Cities Chosen for $40 Million Investment in Public Spaces

Memphis, Tennessee (Credit: Route Fifty)
Can investment in parks, libraries and recreation centers help reverse the worrisome trend of economic and social segregation in cities? Four national foundations are betting big on that theory. Starting today The JPB Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation are coming together to invest a total of $20 million in public spaces in four cities: Akron, Chicago, Detroit and Memphis. That money will be combined with $20 million in matched funding from local sources, resulting in... Read more

Once Fringe Greening Ideas Now Key Part of Detroit Rebirth

Walkers and joggers along the Detroit RiverWalk (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio)
It wasn’t so long ago in Detroit that proposals for bicycle lanes, urban farms, mass tree plantings and other alternative uses for urban land were viewed as soft-headed or even harmful. But today these ideas and others like them have gone mainstream. This “greening” of Detroit’s land and streets represents a seismic shift in thinking about how we redevelop a city. Read more... Read more
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