"Placemaking" has many definitions. The activation of community space. The decision to invest in physical places to make them more welcoming. Design that fosters having unique experiences in a specific environment.
However you define it, placemaking is a concept that Michigan communities have been missing for, arguably, decades. Placemaking builds community, increases public safety, and is good for the bottom line of cities. And failure to invest in place has contributed to the declining populations and related challenges that many of our cities, towns, and villages face.
Let’s Save Michigan
has launched an exiting contest to demonstrate how powerful re-investment in place can be. "It’s About Place
" invites all Michigan residents, organizations, and municipal agencies to re-imagine a public space in their communities using the principles of placemaking. Take an underutilized space and make it a vibrant public place--and we’ll help make your vision a reality.
After an initial round of online public voting, several finalists will be evaluated by our panel of judges, all of whom are national experts in placemaking, and the winning submissions will receive the funding to actually build their projects. In total, we’re giving away $4,000 to multiple projects, with a grand prize award of up to $2,000.
An initial letter of intent to participate is due via email
to the author by April 6, and final submissions are due on May 4. Additional details and information about how to enter can be found at the It’s About Place website
. So please, turn on your creativity and tell us how you can use placemaking to transform your community!
Sarah Szurpicki is the project coordinator of Let’s Save Michigan, an advocacy voice for Michigan’s cities. You can follow Let’s Save Michigan on Twitter @LetsSaveMich. Use the hashtag #LSMplace to reference the contest.