Civic engagement should be at the forefront of placemaking projects. Start a conversation on engagement and citizen participation in your community. Here are some talking points to share with neighbors, organizations and especially local government officials:
- Citizen dialogues can strengthen democracy and improve public service efficiency
- Effective community engagement is crucial for successful placemaking
- Public engagement in policy and program development improves the substance of policy, reduces conflict, improves trust and enhances more successful implementation
According to a 2012 study by the American Planning Association:
- 75% of Americans agree with the statement, “Engaging citizens through local planning is essential to rebuilding local economies, creating jobs and improving people’s lives.”
- Half of all Americans would like to be involved in community planning
A wide variety of resources on civic engagement are available on our Resources and Tools page.
The following case studies highlight Michigan people who got involved in their communities and came together to creatively address a variety of needs.
A group of young professionals in Muskegon started an online branding and marketing campaign to promote their city.
Detroit Soup This grassroots initiative is a way to bring neighbors together to build relationships, share ideas and raise money for local projects happening in the community.
Recycle Here! started out as a traditional drop-off center in a community with few recycling options. Through the creativity of its staff, volunteers, and participating citizens, it has become a community gathering place and a showcase for artists and musicians.
Detroit City Futbol League
The Detroit City Futbol League is a recreational, adult, co-ed soccer league based around neighborhoods. The league brings communities together in a fun and unique way while marketing different areas of the city.
Artist Village Detroit
The Artist Village serves as a creative hub for artists, students, business owners, and neighbors living and working in the heart of Old Redford. A once abandoned commercial strip serves as the center of the village and houses the historic Redford Theatre, a small coffee shop, vintage clothing store, and an art education program.
Community Driven Nuisance Abatement
Neighbors in Southwest Detroit organized a grassroots approach to identifying and potentially taking legal action against the private owners of nuisance properties that are having a negative impact on the whole community.
Frankfort Historic Landmarks Arts Center
The Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts is a re-purposed Coast Guard Station which serves as a popular community hub for residents and visitors. The regional arts facility has two galleries and three classroom spaces for art, music, literature, dance and exercise classes, as well as a professional test kitchen for the culinary arts.