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Committee focuses on making 'place'



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September 25, 2013 - BY ANDREA M. BEAUDOIN

Clarkston News Staff Writer

A new committee focused on "Placemaking" will identify community jewels and ask residents, businesses and leaders what they think can be done to improve and better connect the community.

An Oct. 8 meeting will be at Clarkston Community Schools Administration building, 6389 Clarkston Road, at 6:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in the concept is invited to attend to hear presentations and experience hands on activities and conversations.

Parks, Recreation and Seniors Director Ken Elwert said the meeting will educate the community about what Placemaking is, and will also identify cool places and assets in the community.

"We will ask. are there holes, or things that are not connected that should be. We will ask how do we take something cool and connect those places to the community," said Elwert.

Placemaking is umbrella term of ideas and concepts including community planning, design and management.

It includes identifying and improving natural resources, traffic flow, cultural assets, historical things, and how to connect and improve them, said Elwert.

"Placemaking is a regional concept, and municipality boundaries are discarded," he said.

Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Penny Shanks said attendees will help identify 10 jewels in Independence and Springfield townships, and City of the Village of Clarkston.

"We will ask how can we be the best we can be," said Shanks. "Everyone has a list of what could be better, so let's get those lists together and work on them."

Jewels of the community can include festivals, parades and other places people go.

"It can include businesses, and events. It can be home football games or anywhere people hang out and come together," she said.

Placemaking projects by other communities include redefining alley ways, rebuilding farmers markets, and offering residents mobile parks.

"There are some funky things out there that we can do to let people know where things in the community are," said Elwert.

He added several municipal departments, businesses, residents and organizations will work together to improve community buildings, schools, parks, and other public spaces, and address under-used parks, excessive traffic, and other concerns.

Elwert said he encourages people to attend the meeting.

"I am hoping people will come out and learn what it's all about," said Elwert.

"Bottom line is Placemaking is fun, and that's why I want to be involved," Shanks concluded.

For more information, check www.pps.org

11 principles

of Placemaking

The community is the expert

Create a place, not a design

You can see a lot just by observing

Look for partners

Have a vision

Start with petunias: Lighter, quicker, cheaper

Triangulate

They always say "It can't be done".

Form supports function

Money is not the issue

You are never finished

Staff writer
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