2017 Recipient Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Teaching
MIplace Partnership Initiative
Mark A. Wyckoff, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Michigan State Housing Development Authority
Michigan Municipal League
The MIplaceTM Partnership initiative was created in response to the need to revitalize Michigan’s downtowns. Talented workers, who are essential to a prosperous economy, are often bypassing Michigan, partly because the state does not have the kind of attractive urban living environments that many are looking for—diverse housing,walkable neighborhoods, green public spaces, and a broad range of arts and cultural opportunities.
Through extensive placemaking training based on a new curriculum and guidebook, and technical assistance provided to stakeholder groups and communities across the state, the MIplaceTM Partnership initiative has educated nearly 15,000 people about the importance of placemaking and been instrumental in the planning and implementation of dozens of placemaking projects throughout Michigan. Key partners are the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Sense of Place Council, MSU Extension, and the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction. MSU students have also participated in placemaking activities in dozens of Michigan communities, giving them real world experience while providing fresh, innovative visions to help Michigan downtowns attract talented individuals, particularly the Millennial Generation.
Gary Heidel of MSHDA was one of the initial creators of the MIplaceTM Partnership initiative and the person most responsible for shepherding it through the four rounds of financial support at MSHDA.