meeting audience hands raised-cropCivic 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:

Quick Stats
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

Additional Resources
A wide variety of resources on civic engagement are available on our Resources and Tools page.

Get Inspired
The following case studies highlight Michigan people who got involved in their communities and came together to creatively address a variety of needs.


Love Muskegon
A group of young professionals in Muskegon started an online branding and marketing campaign to promote their city.


Detroit Soupdetroit-soup-thumbnail 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
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.

dcfl-logo-thumbnailDetroit 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-smallArtist 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.


cdna-thumbnailCommunity 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-art-center-thumbnailFrankfort 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.