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Placemaking by nature.

Placemaking extravaganza at the Villager Mall. Fun things to do in what is normally a busy parking lot on Park Street. Eating, Playing, Biking and socializing go a long way to build the sense of community in South Madison.

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan. We took photos of each market observed and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos from our recent stop at the Howell Sunday Farmers Market. We just ask that photo credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

 

You can view the farmers market case study at placemaking.mml.org. You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

 

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

 

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state. Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons. Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

 

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

 

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

 

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan. We took photos of each market observed and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos from our recent stop at the Dearborn Farmers and Artisans Market. We just ask that photo credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

You can view the farmers market case study at placemaking.mml.org. You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

 

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state. Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons. Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

 

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

 

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

 

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan. We were fortunate to be able to attend the opening day of the newly relocated Flint Farmers Market in Downtown Flint. The place was packed as you can tell from these many images.

For all the markets visited, we took photos and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos, we just ask that credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

You can view the farmers market case study at placemaking.mml.org. You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state. Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons. Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan. We took photos of each market observed and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos from our recent stop at the Howell Sunday Farmers Market. We just ask that photo credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

 

You can view the farmers market case study at placemaking.mml.org. You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

 

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

 

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state. Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons. Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

 

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

 

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

 

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

“This isn’t a Jackson problem, it is a statewide problem.. The system is broken. The state has been taking those dollars, that were supposed to be directed to local government, and using them to balance the state budget. In total, right now when you look at the amount that was supposed to flow to cities, villages, townships and counties, it’s $7.5 billion.” – Anthony Minghine in mlive.com/Jackson Citizen Patriot.

 

This is a quote from one of many media reports about Tony’s highly successful visit to Jackson Monday, with stops at mlive.com, 970 AM radio, and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

 

Tony also led a town hall discussion at Jackson City Hall Monday evening in front of more than 40 Jackson area residents as well as local government officials from surrounding communities. Some of the communities represented by local officials at the town hall meeting were Homer, Brooklyn, Dexter, Parma, Jackson and some of the area townships.

Also the offices of state Rep. Earl Poleski, R-Jackson, and state Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, had staff members in attendance. While in Jackson we got to see placemaking in action. Placemaking is building on a community's existing assets to create spaces, cities and locations that you love. We saw a lot of examples of that in Jackson, including its nearly completed downtown street-scape project, the upcoming renovations of the historic Hayes Hotel and numerous vibrant stores and art features, such as murals and sculptures.

 

Minghine has been traveling throughout the state meeting with local business leaders, local media and community officials to explain why our communities are financially struggling and will continue to struggle even thought the state’s economy is on the rebound.

 

If you are interested in having Minghine come and speak in your community contact the League’s Matt Bach at mbach@mml.org.

 

The purpose of the statewide municipal finance tour is to educate the general public and business community about the state’s municipal funding system. Part of what we discuss is how the state has diverted away more than $7.5 billion in revenue sharing from local communities. (Use our data base to see how much money has been diverted from your community). But we also talk about possible solutions.

In short our overall message is that great places make for a strong economy, and the research supports that contention. By employing community-based placemaking strategies, we strengthen both our economic and social future.

The League believes that at the heart of great places are strong cities. Across the country, cities account for over 80 percent of GDP, but in Michigan we have failed to invest in this vital resource.

 

After years of working within the existing paradigms, the League has started this statewide tour as part of a major legislative and policy push aimed at reforming municipal finance in Michigan to encourage renewed investment in our communities.

This is intended to be an examination of how we can do things differently in Michigan to assure that local government can’t just survive, but can thrive.

 

To that end, the League will be developing policy recommendations around three themes: Cost Containment, Revenue Enhancement, and Structure of Government.

We are taking this approach to break away from the historically limiting tactic of incremental change within the context of where we are today.

 

We need new ideas, innovative approaches, and bold action to create a new future for communities around Michigan.

Learn more and join the conversation at SaveMiCity.org.

Multiple media outlets covered our municipal finance tour stop in Jackson Monday.

 

Here are links to each one:

 

- WKHM 970 AM radio with Greg O’Connor: Revenue Sharing Shortage for Jackson: www.wkhm.com/2016/08/15/revenue-sharing-shortage-for-jack...

 

- Mlive.com/Jackson: State Revenue Sharing is Broken, City Officials say: www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2016/08/the_system_i...

 

- WLNS TV 6: Billions Lost in State Revenue Sharing, including Jackson: wlns.com/2016/08/15/the-state-of-michigan-lost-billions-i...

 

- JTV, The Bart Hawley Show: Live-stream interview coming soon under “recent shows”: www.jtv.tv/shows/the-bart-hawley-show/

 

Feel free to use any of these photos we just ask that you give us credit like this: Michigan Municipal League/mml.org. It's important to us that you include our website. Thanks.

 

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

 

Despite of what you may have heard or read lately, Detroit is truly an amazing city. The Michigan Municipal League serves Michigan’s cities and villages and is frequently visiting them and posting photos from our visits in this collection on flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/collections/721.... A recent weekend-get-away to Detroit was a truly awesome experience with visits to Detroit’s RiverWalk, the Renaissance Center and worldwide headquarters of General Motors; the Detroit Institutes of Arts and many other locales. Much of our time getting around was either on foot or aboard the city’s People Mover public transit system (which at 75 cents a person is a fantastic way to get around). We also had the chance to set a portion of the set built in Detroit for the next Transformers movie. These photos show the many highlights of the trip, including a stop at Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers down the Kansas City Royals thanks to a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Michigan Municipal League (www.mml.org/home.html) has identified eight assets that make vibrant communities, such as walkability, cultural and economic development, green initiatives, education, multiculturalism and entrepreneurship and Detroit has all these assets. The League is continually visiting Michigan communities to view these assets in action. Placemaking (www.economicsofplace.com/) is about creating communities from one that you can't wait to get through to ones you never want to leave and by talking with the many people who have recently moved to Detroit, the Motor City is quickly becoming a place you don’t want to leave. Detroit is also the 2013 host of the Michigan Municipal League’s Convention, Sept. 17-20. Learn more here: convention.mml.org (www.mml.org/events/annual_convention/index.html).

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/04/29/pilgrimage-to-uji-for-hib...

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

Red Pole Park

Southfield, MI

 

Placemaking along a freeway in otherwise endless miles of generic suburbia.

 

Canon A-1

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4

Kodak Gold 200

Cafe in St Andrew's Square. Very cold.

Red Pole Park

Southfield, MI

 

Placemaking along a freeway in otherwise endless miles of generic suburbia.

 

Canon A-1

Canon FD 24mm f/2.8

Kodak Gold 200

Quartermile: unapologetic and appropriate Foster designed development in central Edinburgh. The towers are the flats, the buildings in the foreground are the (less interesting) offices.

An urban planning project takes about ten good years to exist, here in France, there are so many laws and regulations with little vision. I have 30 years of fighting against preconceived ideas by the masters of modernism, so it takes a lot of patience to build a place.

A placemaking project does not happen overnight. Do not be discouraged if things do not go exactly as planned at first, or if progress seems slow.

As with many other types of project, a placemaking project needs a vision to succeed. This vision should not be the grand design of a single person, but the aggregate conception of the entire community.

Placemaking is not just about designing a park of plaza with efficient pedestrian circulation. It involves taking into account the interrelations between surrounding retailers, vendors, amenities provided, and activities taking place in the space, then fine-tuning the space with landscape changes, additions of seating, etc, to make all of those elements mesh. The end result should be a cohesive unit that creates greater value for the community than just the sum of its parts.Triangulation, simply put, is the strategic placement of amenities, such that they encourage social interaction, and are used more frequently. For example "if a children's reading room in a new library is located so that it is next to a children's playground in a park and a food kiosk is added, more activity will occur than if these facilities were located separately."

  

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being. It is political due to the nature of place identity. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy.

The concepts behind placemaking originated in the 1960s, when writers like Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte offered groundbreaking ideas about designing cities that catered to people, not just to cars and shopping centers. Their work focused on the importance of lively neighborhoods and inviting public spaces. Jacobs advocated citizen ownership of streets through the now-famous idea of "eyes on the street." Whyte emphasized essential elements for creating social life in public spaces.

The term came into use in the 1970s by landscape architects, architects and urban planners to describe the process of creating squares, plazas, parks, streets and waterfronts that will attract people because they are pleasurable or interesting. Landscape often plays an important role in the design process. The term encourages disciplines involved in designing the built environment to work together in pursuit of qualities that they each alone are unable to achieve.

Bernard Hunt, of HTA Architects noted that: "We have theories, specialisms, regulations, exhortations, demonstration projects. We have planners. We have highway

engineers. We have mixed use, mixed tenure, architecture, community architecture, urban design, neighbourhood strategy. But what seems to have happened is that we have simply lost the art of placemaking; or, put another way, we have lost the simple art of placemaking. We are good at putting up buildings but we are bad at making places."

Jan Gehl has said "First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works"; and "In a Society becoming steadily more privatized with private homes, cars, computers, offices and shopping centers, the public component of our lives is disappearing. It is more and more important to make the cities inviting, so we can meet our fellow citizens face to face and experience directly through our senses. Public life in good quality public spaces is an important part of a democratic life and a full life."

The writings of poet Wendell Berry have contributed to an imaginative grasp of place and placemaking, particularly with reference to local ecology and local economy. He writes that, "If what we see and experience, if our country, does not become real in imagination, then it never can become real to us, and we are forever divided from it... Imagination is a particularizing and a local force, native to the ground underfoot."

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placemaking

Loooking at a typical block of flats in the New Town. A great solution to a tricky problem.

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2015/11/29/hongkou-zhabei-walk/

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan. We took photos of each market observed and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos from a

recent stop at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. We just ask that photo credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

 

You can view the farmers market case study at placemaking.mml.org. You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

 

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

 

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state. Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons. Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

 

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

 

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

 

The Michigan Municipal League is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan. We have visited the state’s largest and most famous market many times – the Detroit Eastern Market – and decided to put the photos from all our visits in this single album.

 

For all the markets visited, we took photos and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos, we just ask that credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

 

You can view the farmers market case study at placemaking.mml.org. You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

 

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

 

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

 

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state. Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

 

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons. Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

 

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

 

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/12/31/tateishi/

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/07/16/shitamachi-walk/

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/12/31/tateishi/

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan.

 

We took photos of each market observed and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos from our recent stop at the Metro Health Aquinas College Farm Market in Grand Rapids. It opened this summer and is one of the newest markets in the state. We just ask that photo credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

 

You can view the farmers market case study here: placemaking.mml.org/michigan-farmers-markets and a blog and slideshow about the farmers markets here: placemaking.mml.org/2014/09/15/placemaking-in-action-mich.... You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/. Go here to view our flickr entire collection of farmers market photos: www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/collections/721...

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

 

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

 

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state.

 

Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons.

 

Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

 

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

 

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

 

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

The Michigan Municipal league is doing a series of case studies or how-to reports about placemaking activities taking place throughout the Great Lakes State. The League recently completed an in-depth look at the state’s rapidly growing farmers market movement. In doing the study, the League visited about 40 of the 300-plus markets in Michigan.

 

We took photos of each market observed and are posting them here on flickr so that the world can see the important role that farmers markets can play in making vibrant communities. Feel free to use any of these photos from a stop at the East Lansing Farmer's Market in the summer of 2014. This market promotes the fact that it requires all products sold be homegrown. It also has live music and because it's located in Valley Court Park is a great place for families and friends to hang out. If you use these photos, we just ask that photo credit be given like this: flickr photo/Michigan Municipal League, mml.org.

 

You can view the farmers market case study here: placemaking.mml.org/michigan-farmers-markets and a blog and slideshow about the farmers markets here: placemaking.mml.org/2014/09/15/placemaking-in-action-mich.... You can view all our how-to reports here: placemaking.mml.org/how-to/. Go here to view our flickr entire collection of farmers market photos: www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/collections/721...

 

Here are some details about this case study and what we found during our statewide farmers market tour in the summer of 2014:

 

The 300-plus farmers markets that exist in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes. They’re in large urban centers and tiny villages. They pop up in parking lots, fields, roadsides, on main street and in permanent, historic structures.

 

They sell traditional farmers market fare – corn, apples, maple syrup, potatoes, and pumpkins – and the unexpected – homemade spices, baby clothes, fresh-caught fish, jewelry, and even sea urchin. You can get your knives sharpened, your face painted and your groceries for the week. At a farmers market you can find old friends and meet new ones. And you can talk to the vendor who grew the melon or flowers you’re thinking about buying.

 

Farmers markets can even help create a place for people to gather and revitalize a community and give an economic boost to existing businesses and inspire new merchants to open.

In writing a how-to case study about Michigan Farmers Market for the Michigan Municipal League, I got the chance this summer to visit about 30 markets across our great state. I saw thousands of people pack into the new location for the Flint Farmers Market to great fanfare for its grand opening in downtown on June 21. I smelled the yummy salsa dish a woman was preparing for her church fundraiser at the Dansville Farmers Market. I saw a man holding a rooster in Birmingham, a robotics team in Grand Blanc, violinists performing in East Lansing and Traverse City, and Spanish mackerel on sale at the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

 

I’ve always enjoyed going to farmers markets but the sights and sounds I experienced in my market tour this summer were truly inspirational, exciting and simply fun. While I saw many successful markets, I did experience some that seemed to need a shot in the arm. I also attempted to go to a couple markets that I eventually learned are no longer in operation.

 

So what makes one market flourish as another withers on the vine?

 

The success or failure of a market can come down to three words: Relationships, relationships, relationships, said Dru Montri, director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, an East Lansing-based non-profit organization that tracks and provides support to farmers markets throughout the state.

 

Montri said the 320 farmers markets in their data base this year is a record high since the association formed and starting tracking farmers markets in 2006. While some close each year many more open.

 

“Farmers markets are based on relationships,” Montri explained. “That’s the best thing about markets, and it can also be the most challenging aspect of markets. It’s relationships between farmers themselves, relationships between vendors and the market management, relationships between the market manager and sponsors and relationships between vendors and shoppers. All of those are very, very important. People love farmers markets because of that. People love going and talking to vendors about how things are grown.”

 

But Montri said when relationships sour that can impact everything in a market. A successful market will have strong leaders who can forge good relationships on all levels. She suggests a market have a board of directors or advisory team to oversee it.

Montri said the number of farmers markets in Michigan have doubled since 2006 for several reasons.

 

Those reasons include an increase in consumer interest about where and how their food is made and processed; a growing awareness among community leaders about the value a farmers market can have in economic development and creating a sense of place and community in their town; and a desire by farmers and vendors in direct marketing options, which tend to be more profitable.

 

She believes the number of markets will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, especially as more markets start to offer financial assistance programs to those in need, such as the acceptance of SNAP Bridge Cards and related services.

 

“There is such a large number of consumers who haven’t even yet considered shopping at farmers markets,” Montri said. “As long as we have the potential to bring more people into farmers markets, we have the opportunity to expand the number of markets. As long as we are strategic about growth, we can avoid these saturation points. But, starting a market a mile away from an existing market on the same day of the week, for example, can cause over saturation.”

 

This post and related case study was written by Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org.

The Michigan Municipal League has recently released a new report called "A Decade of Placemaking" and has been traveling around the state promoting it. The League was downtown Muskegon at its new Western Market/Pop-Up Retail Shops. This is a fantastic idea and something many communities could easily replicate. Way to go Muskegon. Below is a press release about the event. View a blog about the report here: placemaking.mml.org/2017/06/27/new-report-chronicles-a-de....

 

View the report here:

placemaking.mml.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/placemakin...

 

PRESS RELEASE:

 

Placemaking: A Look at the Last 10 Years

 

New Placemaking Report Released at News Event in Muskegon

 

MUSKEGON, Michigan – Ten years ago, very few knew the term “placemaking” and what it meant for Michigan’s future. Today, placemaking isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life for many people and communities.

A new report, “A Decade of Placemaking in Michigan,” discussed today during a news conference in Muskegon by the Michigan Municipal League, is a retrospective of the League’s work in the placemaking arena since the early 2000s. The event took place at the new Western Market Pop-Up Stores in downtown Muskegon. The community has been a leader in the placemaking movement and a photo of its placemaking endeavors is included on the cover of the new report, said Shanna Draheim, author of the report and director of policy development for the League.

“We have been very impressed with the placemaking work happening in Muskegon,” Draheim said. “So, when we decided to roll out this new report in key locations throughout the state, Muskegon was at the top of our list. Muskegon community leaders have taken placemaking concepts and turned them into tangible economic drivers. That’s exactly what placemaking is all about.”

The purpose of the report is to remind League members and the public where we’ve been, show what we’ve accomplished, and use that to help the League set the stage for future placemaking endeavors, Draheim added.

“The League’s placemaking work has had an impact throughout the state in a variety of ways. Local and state leaders, for example, have adopted placemaking concepts and made significant investments to improve the quality of life in Michigan communities,” Draheim said.

Multiple Muskegon area officials and supporters participated in Friday’s news event: Mayor Stephen Gawron; Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and treasurer of Downtown Muskegon Now; and Dan Castle, co-owner of Morat’s Bakery Pub, which has a location in the new Western Market Pop-Up Stores.

“So, what exactly is placemaking? In the simplest of terms, it’s creating a space that attracts people and business,” said Mayor Gawron. “Placemaking comes in many shapes and sizes and Muskegon offers a great example of that variety. We’ve taken very small spaces, like here at the Western Market, and much larger areas, like the farmers market, and turned them into vibrant places that draw people from miles around and provide an economic boost to our entire community.”

The League has been a resource and strong voice for placemaking for over a decade, so picking just the highlights wasn’t easy. But some of the key efforts in the report include:

•Significant outreach to communities, stakeholders, and community development professionals, including professional development training, hundreds of presentations to organizations around the world, publication of two books on placemaking, hosting the 2010-2016 Prosperity Agenda radio show on 760 WJR, and mobilizing a two-year Let’s Save Michigan outreach campaign.

•Assistance to communities in creating and implementing PlacePlans and PlacePOP projects in their downtowns (in cooperation with our state and other Sense of Place Council partners).

•Advocacy and support for state and local programs and policy changes to support placemaking.

•Development of new funding tools to support placemaking projects.

The League’s efforts to help move the placemaking agenda came at the right time, as Michigan’s traditional manufacturing economy was declining and communities desperately needed new options to create economically strong, vibrant places.

The League has not done this work alone. The vision, leadership, and support of the League’s 18-member Board of Trustees was essential. Through the years, the Board has been a placemaking champion and cheerleader. Perhaps most importantly, however, has been the League’s partnership with other organizations, including the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State University, business organizations, and other nonprofit groups through the Sense of Place Council. These partners have been critical to the success of adopting placemaking in Michigan by “normalizing” placemaking concepts, providing credibility, broadening the scope and scale of outreach efforts, and providing key funding for communities’ placemaking work.

The League has watched and participated as communities have engaged with their residents to redevelop formerly blighted or underutilized areas into fun and attractive community amenities; plan and host art and cultural events; and change local policies that enable things like outdoor dining and public gathering spaces that draw people into downtowns.

So, what’s next? The League’s placemaking work will continue, but will evolve. In the coming years, the League will provide a wide range of services and strategies that push the placemaking for economic prosperity agenda forward, and enjoin the state’s job creation strategy with efforts to improve civic life.

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell); (734) 669-6317 (office) and mbach@mml.org.

  

A blog post that includes these photos lives here: likeafishinwater.com/2016/06/05/journey-to-the-north/

 

My company: www.thirdplacemedia.com - Research, content development and communications strategy focused on transit, walkability, placemaking and environment issues

 

My blog: likeafishinwater.com

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