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Creating a sense of place

A view of Detroit's Campus Martius Park
A view of Detroit's Campus Martius Park

Michigan’s realtors say communities need to rethink how they design and use public spaces.    They say it could affect Michigan’s future economic growth.

It’s a concept called‘placemaking’.     The idea is to make public spaces, like small parks, into places people want to be that become magnets for business investment.

Detroit’s Campus Martius is cited as an example of how this has been done well.

Kathie Feldpausch is with the Michigan Association of Realtors.    She says the association is promoting ‘placemaking’ as a way of rethinking how to use public spaces to help Michigan’s economy to rebound from the recession.

“It is as much about the future as anything else," says Feldpausch, "trying to shake things up enough…you don’t go comfortably back to what you thought worked in the old…paradigm.   

According to the placemaking philosophy, public spaces should be designed to encourage people to walk, creating a social environment in cities and neighborhoods. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.