Last week, a team of staff members from the Michigan Municipal League was invited to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Placemaking Leadership Council , held in Detroit and hosted by Project for Public Spaces. It was truly inspiring to be among other “placemakers” from around the world – 25 states and 10 countries – who were all speaking the same language. Detroit is embracing placemaking as a strategy for civic revitalization and this gathering of energetic placemaking do-ers and deep thinkers represents another step toward consolidating and strengthening placemaking as ways of creating vibrant and competitive communities for the 21st century.
The League’s executive director and CEO, Dan Gilmartin, delivered the opening keynote address, sharing the stage with Fred Kent, president and founder of Project for Public Spaces, Rip Rapson, president, The Kresge Foundation, Dan Gilbert, chairman, Rock Ventures and Opportunity Detroit, and Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO, Goldman Properties. These heavy-weights in the placemaking arena kicked off the conference and shared their knowledge and visions not only for Detroit, but how placemaking can be a catalyst for change in neighborhoods, commercial corridors and entertainment districts.
Dan Gilmartin’ s address to the crowd of enthusiasts focused on the importance of Placemaking in Michigan and the work the League is doing on behalf of Michigan’s communities. The League continues to utilize its partnerships and connections to make placemaking the front and center economic discussion in the state. Better communities will make a better Michigan and it was very evident during the Placemaking Leadership Council meeting that investing in our communities through place-based strategies is the key to Michigan’s economic turnaround.
The League appreciated the opportunity to be a part of this important meeting of the minds and looks forward to engaging in future discussions and work with the Leadership Council!