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Here are some follow-up thoughts on the 2010 Michigan Land and Prosperity Summit.

First, the stats:
Location: Michigan State University
Attendees: 250
Shape of butter pats: Spartan helmets.

The substance:
The day as a whole was lots of food for thought. More than I could address here. However, I heard two major themes emerge from the conversations:

  • The quality of place matters, and Michigan has that quality of place.
  • Transportation options are what make a neighborhood livable and there is a tremendous opening in the market now for walkable, transit-oriented communities.

In their words:
“Place matters. Place assets matter.”
Soji Adelaja, Director of the MSU Land Policy Institute

“Urban land is not a disposable commodity.”
Daniel T. Kildee, President and CEO, Center for Community Progress

“Transportation drives development. Transportation dictates what we build.”
Chris Leinberger, Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution

Think of the problem in a portfolio. Incorporate time. For some aspects of the problem you need to have patience and for other aspects of the problem you need to push forward.
Lou Anna Simon, President of MSU

“We are not going to succeed as a state without a successful Detroit.”
Bill Rustem, President and CEO, Public Sector Consultants

Other resources:
I highly recommend plugging in your address to obtain your walkscore. The Walk Score team currently ranks the walkability of our current and future homes 14th and 23rd, respectively, of the 40 largest cities in America. Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institution also cited several data sets demonstrating that improvements in walk scores boost property values. I am convinced!

Also check out this very striking map of the Chicago region by CO2 emissions per household. Households in the far suburbs produce more than 4 times more CO2 than households in the city! If you look closely the red dots on the map spell the words: “please ride a bike.”

I’ll just close by giving a shout out to the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute for hosting an awesome day. Feeling pretty good about Michigan’s future. What are your thoughts on the role of land use in the economic recovery?


Happy Earth Day, everyone. I am headed to the 2010 Michigan Land and Prosperity Summit tomorrow. Anything you would like me to bring back? Send me your questions!