Sustainable Small Harbor Management Strategy Project

February 23, 2015
Michigan Sea Grant

Small Harbor Sustainability MapMichigan is home to more than 80 public harbors and marinas, run by the state, county or local government. Each year, Great Lakes boating infuses the Michigan economy with nearly $2.4 billion through direct and secondary spending. The trend of fluctuating water levels across the Great Lakes, particularly persistent low water levels in the past 10 years, combined with economic downturn have taken their toll on local waterfront communities. In addition, state and federal funding for public harbors is increasingly limited.

The research team seeks to develop a sustainable small harbor management strategy for Michigan’s coastal communities.

The team is hosting charrettes (facilitated community planning sessions) this spring in New Baltimore, Au Gres, Ontonagon and Pentwater. The communities will undergo a six-month engagement process with the research team. The research team will identify strategies to improve economic, social and environmental sustainability of Michigan’s harbor communities.

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UICA launches $10,000 crowdfunding campaign seeking MEDC grant for public art

February 19, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is backing a crowdfunding campaign to create a series of murals in downtown Grand Rapids.

If Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts' "Exit Space Project" raises $10,000 within 30 days through the crowdfunding platform, Patronicity, MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places program will provide a $10,000 matching grant.

"This project will help complement all of the exciting things happening in Grand Rapids that continue to attract new residents, visitors and businesses to downtown," said MEDC Community Assistance Team Specialist Nate Scramlin.

For details or to donate to the campaign launched Wednesday, visit Patronicity's website

The campaign's deadline is March 18.

UICA recently issued an open call for artist's proposals for the project, partially funded by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., to install public art in town. The deadline is March 16 for proposal submissions.

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MiNeighborhood Program Accepting Applications Through March 27

February 09, 2015
Michigan State Housing Development Authority

LANSING – The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will begin accepting applications for the 2015 MiNeighborhood program Jan. 26 through March 27 from eligible neighborhood associations.

The MiNeighborhood program began in 2013 to support the revitalization, preservation and sustainability of vibrant and historic neighborhoods through technical assistance. MiNeighborhood communities receive significant technical assistance and training including, board training, Committee Training, Branding, Place Making, and How to Establish a Historic District, to name a few.

“This program is based on the premise of the Main-Street-Four-Point Approach™ used successfully by the Michigan Main Street Center here,” said Wayne Workman, Acting-Executive Director. “Just as we did with downtowns, we have developed an approach for successful neighborhood revitalization that involves placemaking. The result will be vibrant, thriving places to live.”

Once accepted into the program through the application process, MiNeighborhood works with each targeted neighborhood association and local and statewide organizations to identify and address needs. It connects the area with existing and emerging opportunities, which leverages resources that will help in the revitalization process.

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Lansing is listed as the #4 Best Affordable Place to Live!

February 09, 2015

It’s a good thing residents of Lansing, MI, save money on housing, groceries and other living expenses because this city offers a wealth of entertainment options. Luckily, there’s great value to be found in the many things to do in Lansing, the fourth city on our list of the Best Affordable Places to Live.

The cost of living in Lansing is 8 percent below the national average, according to The Council of Community and Economic Research. With a median home value of $85,000, houses in Lansing are nearly 33 percent below what they are in most major cities. Residents also enjoy low transportation costs, typically spending less than 18 percent of their monthly salaries on car payments and gas. Living in Michigan also brings the advantage of having a flat-rate individual income tax of 4.33 percent.

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Seven Michigan Communities Selected for PlacePlans Work

February 04, 2015
Michigan Municipal League

Cities to Receive Economic Development Assistance

As part of a statewide application process, seven Michigan cities have been selected to receive technical assistance with key economic development projects designed to attract and retain residents and employers. Benton Harbor, Boyne City, Lathrup Village, Monroe, Niles, Saginaw, and Traverse City will participate in PlacePlans, the Michigan Municipal League announced today.

PlacePlans is a joint effort between the League and Michigan State University to help communities design and plan for transformative placemaking projects. The PlacePlans are done with support from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and Governor Snyder’s MIplace Partnership.

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