The Land Policy Institute (LPI) at Michigan State University (MSU), in collaboration with the MIplace Partnership Initiative, announces the release of a guidebook titled “Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool.” It is the most comprehensive publication on placemaking to date, drawing from the best works available. This complete guide seeks to assist neighborhoods and communities with quickly reshaping their thinking and acting on how effective placemaking can greatly enhance community and economic development. It includes a summary of the research that supports placemaking, and identifies the related elements (good form, public engagement, planning processes and the regulatory tools) to achieve it. The guidebook then takes a deep dive into each of the four types of placemaking that can be used to create new and vibrant quality places, which are critical to talent attraction and retention.

With an emphasis on economic aspects of placemaking, this tool is particularly valuable in states, regions and localities that are attempting to reshape their communities to again be competitive in the global New Economy. Appropriate for municipalities of all shapes and sizes, including those facing different sets of challenges, this guidebook includes case examples of placemaking in action, and highlights various organizations, tools and resources that can be employed, engaged and adapted to meet a community’s unique situations.

In 2012, LPI, along with MSU Extension Educators, developed the Michigan Placemaking Curriculum, as part of the MIplace™ Partnership Initiative, with funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Since 2013, about 15,000 people have attended trainings on some parts of the curriculum. The guidebook was developed based off this curriculum.

Gary Heidel, MSHDA’s chief placemaking officer, said, “This guidebook represents the conversion of the best parts of the Placemaking Curriculum into an easy-to-read-and-use publication. It is expected to help many communities quickly understand how to create and implement effective placemaking projects.”

“Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool” is a resource for state, regional and local policy makers, planning and development professionals, civic and business leaders and college professors. The techniques and strategies discussed within can be used to create an improved “sense of place,” enhance local quality of life, attract talented workers, and establish an environment for economic competitiveness. It can also assist in the (re)development of vibrant places where people are drawn to live, work, play, shop, learn and visit.

To order a free digital copy today, visit:

“Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool” was funded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.