Why placemaking is critical to Michigan’s prosperity

And how state policy should make it happen

Over two decades of research has taught us one fundamental lesson: Talent = economic growth.

The key to retaining and attracting talent is creating places where people want to live, work and play.

Then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got it right when he wrote in a Financial Times column: “The most creative individuals want to live in places that protect personal freedoms, prize diversity and offer an abundance of cultural opportunities.”

Our research on the changing American economy has led us to conclude that the regions with the highest concentration of those with a four-year degree or more are going to be the places where high-wage, high-growth enterprises concentrate.

Michigan lags the nation in having communities that are powerful talent attractors. We are in desperate need of a placemaking vision that allows all of its regions to develop and implement their own strategies to be places where people want to live, work and play. And it needs to make sure that metro Detroit and metro Grand Rapids are able to compete with talent magnets like Chicago and Minneapolis.

In our new report, “A path to good-paying careers for all Michiganders: Creating places across Michigan where people want to live and work,” available now, we spell out why placemaking is so critical, and what we believe are the most impactful state policies to improve the attractiveness of communities across the state.

This report is the third and final in a series of reports about how to implement the recommendations in our policy agenda, “A Path to Good-paying Careers for all Michiganders: A 21st Century state policy agenda.”

Click here to read the new report on creating communities that can attract and retain talent. (Please note, hyperlinks in report work best when you download and open in Adobe or another PDF reader, rather than in a browser window.)

Click here to download our December 10 press release.