WelcoBetter Communities. Better Michigan. The Podcast!me to Better Communities Better Michigan – the Podcast!
The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

National Placemaking Expert Carol Coletta Gives Her Perspective on Current and Future Initiatives

What are the current trends in placemaking? How is the foundation world viewing placemaking projects, and what level of engagement can we expect from them going forward? Carol Coletta, Vice President of Community and National initiatives at the Knight Foundation, talk to us about these issues and much more, including the arts in placemaking, and how business owners benefit from strategic cultural investments.

 

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The PodcastWelcome to Better Communities Better Michigan – the Podcast! 
The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

What Are the Prospects for Action on Federal Policy Changes?

The environment in Washington DC has not been collaborative in recent years, to say the least. With some very critical issues which impact local communities on the table for action, we discuss what can be expected of Congress in the coming months. We speak with National League of Cities experts Carolyn Coleman, Center Director for Federal Advocacy and Leslie Wollack, Program Director for Federal Advocacy on Infrastructure and Sustainability, about what local leaders should expect and can do about federal policy action.

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The National League of Cities released a report which outlines the top ten critical issues facing cities today. Additionally, they call on Congress to address these concerns in order to assist with the economic recovery of the nation. As NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota indicated at the Press Conference held in Washington DC today, the nation’s economy can’t be stronger if our cities aren’t prosperous.We couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, as we know from research that strong vibrant communities are the key to prosperous economies with high per capita income. It has been reported many times that more people now live in urban areas and rural throughout the world for the first time in history. That reality drives home the point that investment in Michigan cities by our state legislature, as well as the federal government is imperative to our long term success in the global ecomony.

The top ten issues, which are not ranked in any order include: fragile fiscal health, a deteriorating transportation infrastructure, a shrinking middle class, inadequate access to higher education, the need for affordable housing, a less-than-welcoming return for veterans, gang violence, a broken immigration system, climate change, and a lack of public trust in government.

The full report can be read here: 10CriticalImperatives-web_final

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The PodcastWelcome to Better Communities Better Michigan – the Podcast! 
The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Exploring Placemaking Efforts on Location! Niles’ Path to Prosperity:

Communities around Michigan have been engaging in a variety of creative placemaking efforts. We went to Niles to talk to their community development experts about their efforts to transform many components of their downtown for nearly fifteen years in the making. After much success, they illustrate the tangible benefits of undertaking projects, both large and small, to improve the quality of place in their city.

Juan Ganum, Community Development Director, Lisa Croteau Main Street Manager, and Joe Sobieralski, Executive Director of Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance talk about how the transformation has changed their city and what other community leaders can take away from their experiences. They certainly have no plans to slow down, as they also talk about their next steps in the revitalization process including downtown housing and a new destination focal point for the city in the works.