kaboom graphic1Does your southeast Michigan community have an idea for a creative public space that encourages active play of people of all ages? Do you think you could come up with such an idea? If you can yes to either of those questions, then the Play Everywhere Challenge could be for your community.

Supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and presented by KaBOOM!, the Play Everywhere Challenge is a community-focused design competition to develop new ideas for bringing play to unexpected but everyday spaces, making play easy and available for kids and families. As part of the Challenge, grantees will be selected in Southeast Michigan and Western New York to receive a combined total of $1 million in prize funds. The application period opened Monday, Jan. 14. Go here for details and here for the official challenge rules.

kaboom graphic2You may have read or heard about a recent grant the Michigan Municipal League Foundation received from Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation at the end of last year to help out in Hamtramck (read more about that here). This Play Everywhere Challenge is another amazing project being supported by the Wilson Foundation. The Michigan Municipal League is helping spread the word to our League members.

This is the second year of the challenge. Previous challenge winners were in the League member communities of Allen Park, Port Huron, and Romulus as well as in other areas in Macomb County, St. Clair County, Washtenaw County, and Wayne County.  View all the past projects here.

Here is the Play Everywhere Challenge timeline:

  • The Play Everywhere Challenge Idea form opened Monday, Jan. 14
  • Early Bird idea form Deadline: February 15
  • Final idea form Deadline: March 22
  • June – winners announced
  • July 15, 2019 – June 30, 2020: implementation

Here are additional details:

kaboom 4The Play Everywhere Challenge, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation through its Built to Play initiative, will create more opportunities for free, unstructured, unplanned play. Together, we are ensuring all kids, no matter where they come from or where they live, get the active play they need to thrive.

WHY PLAY EVERYWHERE?

All kids need play to grow up happy, healthy and resilient. But many families struggle to find the time to incorporate play into their daily routines, and adequate, convenient playspaces can be hard to come by. According to a 2017 Aspen Institute report, only 13 percent of youth in Southeast Michigan and 16 percent in Western New York are getting the one hour of daily physical activity, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kids know that play can happen anywhere: at the grocery store, in a waiting room or on the way to school. The Play Everywhere Challenge asks grantees to engage kids and families in designing unique playspaces that excite curiosity and make kids say “I want to play there!” The Challenge will help families integrate play into everyday life and reach the kids who have limitless potential but are often overlooked with few options for active play.

TAKE ACTION

  • Share your great idea for getting kids and families playing everywhere by submitting an Idea Form at kaboom.org.
  • Check-out past Play Everywhere projects by visiting org/builttoplay.
Dan Gilmartin talks about placemaking in Michigan earlier today in China!

Dan Gilmartin talks about placemaking in Michigan earlier today in China!

Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, and League Board President Melanie Piana are wrapping up their placemaking journey in China

Piana

Piana stands in front of a Placemaking Week 2018 billboard in Wuhan, China.

this week.

Gilmartin and Piana, Ferndale city councilmember, are attending Placemaking Week in Wuhan, China to represent Michigan’s placemaking programs at the United Nation’s Habitat Conference on Placemaking. Gilmartin and Piana are attending the Wuhan conference as invited guests of UN Habitat. They even heard from an author who wrote a book about the Flint Water Crisis, called “A Poisoned City.”.

Today, Gilmartin presented Michigan’s accomplishments in the field to a group of local leaders from China and several other countries. (Australia, New Zealand and Japan among them). Piana joined Gilmartin in her role as League president, Ferndale councilmember, and Jefferson East executive.

They explored this historic district in Wuhan, a cobblestone neighborhood and shopping area that used to be abandoned.

They explored this historic district in Wuhan, a cobblestone neighborhood and shopping area that used to be vacant.

It’s a big deal that our state organization and its members continue to be recognized as examples for others to follow, in the U.S. and globally.

Here are some of the highlights and photos from the trip as posted on Twitter and Instagram by Gilmartin and Piana:

Dec. 12:

@DPGilmartin starting the day presenting on Placemaking in Michigan, showcasing innovating strategies for connecting people, places and careers @MMLeague “Place” attracts people. #detroit #placemakingweek @PPS_Placemaking @UNHABITAT

piana pix2 chinaMelanie Piana‏ I love learning what other cities are doing to create place. @mythinkcity teaching how they to unlock lane ways to preserve local heritage. #urbanacupuncture @PPS_Placemaking #placemakingweek

“Belonging, inclusion and well-being. Mainstreet is the backbone of community life. Streets are the anchor for everyday life.” @jen_keesmaat discussing how to retrofit towers and parks into an urban neighborhood. #toronto #placemakingweek @UNHABITAT @PPS_Placemaking

Melanie Piana looks at the construction of the third tallest building in the world.

Melanie Piana looks at the construction of the third tallest building in the world.

Dec. 11:

Melanie Piana‏ @melpiana: Trees provide shade and hold up infrastructure. #exploring #electrialspaghetti #urban https://www.instagram.com/p/BrPfxS8A0z9/?utm_source=ig_twitter_share&igshid=16d4ktunj2now …

Dec. 10:

Melanie Piana‏ Retweeted Dan Gilmartin

The world is going forward, the US is getting further behind. It’s clear our country is stymied by austerity. World cities are working toward cleaner air and water, and the ours wants to dismantle/ignore our policies

Struck again at emphasis many countries put on building city spaces “for women, children, older persons and those with disabilities.” In U.S. we often devalue these steps, replace them w/ economic analysis. #PlacemakingWeek

Grandma and bubbles

Bubbles, Grandma. Waterfront Park.

dan_gilmartin: Bubbles. Grandma. Waterfront Park. 😃 #placemakingweek

Dan Gilmartin‏: Excellent words from @jen_keesmaat on connecting the fabric of the city to its people through effective public places in Toronto. #PlacemakingWeek – at 解放公园 Jiefang Park

Melanie Piana‏ Retweeted Ashley Catherine Woods

Anna’s book A Poisoned City demonstrates how austerity and disinvestment in Michigan cities hurts our communities. Go hear her talk about #flintwatercrisis @SaveMICity

Ashley Catherine Woods‏ @Ash_Detroit: Come learn how @annaleighclark wrote THE book on the #flintwatercrisis. Plus, free snacks. https://www.facebook.com/events/289375465023699/?ti=ia … #detroit #flint #journalism

Melanie Piana‏ Retweeted Dan Gilmartin: Everyone has the right to live in a great place. A strong vision to guide this city’s urban planning #placemaking efforts

Sculptures

Sculptures on the waterfront in Wuhan, China

dan_gilmartin: Yangtze River, Wuhan. Dozens of sporting sculptures dot the 8 km waterfront park #placemakingweek

Dan Gilmartin‏: #PlacemakingWeek The Wuhan Declaration. @UNHABITAT @PPS_Placemaking @mmleague

melementp: Explored a historic district in Wuhan, a cobblestone neighborhood and shopping area that used to be vacant. #placemaking #placemakingweek @unhabitat@pps_placemaking

melementp: In Wuhan participating in Placemaking Week with @unhabitat and @pps_placemaking @dan_gilmartin#placemaking

Dan Gilmartin moving frogs in China.

Dan Gilmartin moving frogs in China.

melementp: Frogs at work @hanskarssenbergand @dan_gilmartin #placemakingweek@pps_placemaking #riverfront #placemaking#wuhan

melementp: Third tallest building under construction in Wuhan. #placemakingweek#waterfront #lunchbreak #sunisout #buildings

 

Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, is heading to China next week with League Board President Melanie Piana to attend the United Nation’s Habitat Conference on Placemaking.

Gilmartin and Piana, Ferndale city councilmember, are going to Placemaking Week in Wuhan, China to represent Michigan’s placemaking programs at the United Nation’s Habitat Conference on Placemaking. Gilmartin and Piana will attend the Wuhan conference as invited guests of UN Habitat.

Gilmartin was asked to present Michigan’s accomplishments in the field to a group of local leaders from China and several other countries. (Australia, New Zealand and Japan among them). Piana will join Gilmartin in her role as League president, Ferndale councilmember, and Jefferson East executive.

It’s a big deal that our state organization and its members continue to be recognized as examples for others to follow, in the U.S. and globally.

Here is an overview of the conference:

Embracing a wide variety of sectors and disciplines, the event creates a dynamic forum for attendees to develop and share concrete strategies to advance placemaking both locally and globally.

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, China. The city, with a population of 10.91 million, is located at the Yangtze River and Han River in the center of China, where major rail and highway networks all cross here. The city is renowned for its large student population, car factories and high-tech industries. UN-HABITAT and WLSP has collaborated since 2016 and will jointly organize the Wuhan Placemaking Week in late 2018.

The theme of WPW is “SHAPING BETTER PUBLIC SPACES: Remaking Places – Transforming Cities”. Chinese cities, including Wuhan, have grown at tremendous speed, especially since the economic opening up, 40 years ago, in 1978. Industrial growth spurred urban growth. China is entering a new phase. The inner cities need renewal, as old functions are becoming obsolete and early building was often fast and of low quality, for sure in terms of public space. Sprawl and peripheries have expanded very fast, especially in the last 15 years, with vast areas of open space of low quality. A new capacity to remake places is needed and this time round, participation with residents will be needed. Placemaking in China is about more than making ugly place beautiful. It will be about creating new collaborations between officials, professionals and communities. This requires a process of advocacy, capacity building and mobilization to remake a quasi-infinite number of places – the sum of which will see the transformation of cities.

WPW will be organized around four partnerships and four sub-themes.

  • Waterfront Placemaking (WPDI – ISOCARP)
  • Historical Street Placemaking (WLSP – PPS – UN-Habitat)
  • Placemaking with Communities (WU – UN-Habitat Global Public Space Programme)

Dan Gilmartin, the CEO and executive director for the Michigan Municipal League, will

Dan Gilmartin is a keynote speaker at the 2018 Vermonth League of Cities & Towns Townfair 2018 taking place this week.

Dan Gilmartin is a keynote speaker at the 2018 Vermonth League of Cities & Towns Townfair 2018 taking place this week.

be in Vermont this week as the keynote speaker for the Vermont League of Cities & Towns annual Town Fair conference.

Gilmartin is an internationally known expert on the concept of placemaking and other municipal issues and has conducted presentations all over the world, including in Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands.

He was asked to speak at the Vermont conference because event organizers were looking for a keynote address that combines placemaking with innovation and retaining and attracting young talent to The Green Mountain State. These are all topics Gilmartin has covered extensively in Michigan and beyond in his Economics of Place blog, Economics of Place podcast and former The Prosperity Agenda radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR. He also is contributing author to two League books: The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People; and The Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities.

This is one of three national public speaking opportunities Gilmartin will be doing on various topics this month. He was also will be the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Water & Pollution Control Conference (OWPCC) taking place at Rose State College in Oklahoma City, Oct. 8-11, and he will be a co-speaker during a session on building strong communities, inside and out at the Engaging Local Government Leaders’ (ELGL) 2018 Milwaukee Pop Up Conference in Wisconsin on Oct. 12.

Here is the official description for Dan’s keynote address at the Vermont conference:

Dan Gilmartin

Daniel Gilmartin

Keynote: Building Great Communities 

Daniel Gilmartin is the Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municpal League and is contributing author to The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People and Economics of Place: the Art of Building Great Communities. Through his work with communities throughout the country, Mr. Gilmartin is recognized as a leader in the fields of urban revitalization, placemaking, local government reform, and transportation policy. He serviced on the Placemaking Leadership Council and previously served on the Michigan Future, Inc. Leadership Council and the board of directors of the National League of Cities. Prior to his current position as executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League Mr. Gilmartin served for four years as the lead advocate for Michigan’s communities in Lansing and in Washington, where he concentrated on key issues that included transportation, land use, and urban redevelopment.
Speaker: Daniel Gilmartin, Executive Director & CEO, Michigan Municipal League