Place Plans revitalizing underutilized city assets

MMLSignificant changes to the Boyne City waterfront have been mapped out, and now the city is preparing to make them.

The Michigan Municipal League’s Place Plan program is the catalyst for the proposed changes.

The Place Plan program began three years ago as an attempt to revitalize small areas of Michigan cities.

For example, the plan for Boyne City is an attempt to make the waterfront more accessible to the public, as well as connect it to existing isolated parks.

Luke Forest is the director of the Place Plan program. He said the main purpose is to rethink underutilized city assets.

“Our overall goal is to show city leaders across the state some new and creative ways to think about the space that they have and the assets that they have. We heard a lot of bad economic news over the past 15 years or so in Michigan. We tried to look at it another way, and say that we have a lot of great assets in so many cities and villages across the state, and some of them maybe are a little bit underutilized. So let’s try to show examples of how communities can transform those things.”

Forest said the Boyne City project will make the waterfront a more desirable and accessible place.

“Boyne City has really spectacular waterfront property on Lake Charlevoix. It’s connected to their downtown. But they feel like the connections could be made a lot better. The interaction with some of the public parks and the public beach they have aren’t as great as they would like. So it was kind of a two fold effort to reimagining that public space.”

Forest said the program thrives on public input, and the changes they suggest come straight from residents.

Boyne City is one of the most recent additions to the program, which brings the total number of plans to 22.

For more information on any of the specific plans, visit the Place Plan website here.