Benton Harbor project: Dwight Pete Mitchell City Center Park serves as the primary public green and community gathering space for downtown Benton Harbor, and the community has a number of ideas for how to enhance its role. Creating an inclusive civic engagement process to gather public input on a new design concept to activate the park is a key goal of the PlacePlans work.
This is the third round of the PlacePlans program, which began in 2012 with projects in Allegan, Alpena, Dearborn, and Sault Ste. Marie, and continued in 2014 with projects in Cadillac, Detroit, Flint, Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Marquette, and Midland. Go here to view previous projects.
“With this announcement, in just three short years we are very pleased to have helped about two dozen communities throughout Michigan with projects that will benefit their cities for years to come,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The League has long supported the concept of place making, which is creating communities where people want to live, work and play. The PlacePlans actually create realistic, tangible designs to make place-making possible.”
Gary Heidel, chief place-making officer for MSHDA, said the seven communities selected are from all areas of the state and the projects involved range from better utilizing a creek/park area in Traverse City to redeveloping a downtown park and plaza in Benton Harbor.
“Each community has its own characteristics and assets that makes it unique,” Heidel said. “The great thing about this PlacePlans program is it helps a community look at an under-utilized asset and puts it on the path toward becoming a community gem. The design and technical assistance being provided through PlacePlans will give them a road map and direction they need.”
Here are details on the other projects: