United Growth Update - March 2014
United Growth for Kent County is busy charting a course for our future. As you may have noticed, we have not held our regular information meetings for the past few months but the Board is regularly meeting and charting an exciting new path going forward. The need for United Growth’s inclusive look at urban and rural issues has never been more pressing, as shown by the extensive discussion in our county of the Purchase of Development program. United Growth will continue its work on urban revitalization and farmland preservation, and we are excited to roll out new initiatives for you in the coming months. Look for more information later this spring as we chart are course moving forward.
There are so many directions within placemaking, so this month we're going to focus on the role of farms and food in connecting rural and urban places. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy, so here's a little philosophical food for thought t0 contemplate during your daily placemaking ventures at work and at the table.
“The concept of country, homeland, dwelling place becomes simplified as “the environment”- that is, what surrounds us. Once we see our place, our part of the world, as surrounding us, we have already made a profound division between it and ourselves. We have given up the understanding... that we and our country create one another, depend on one another...; that our land passes in and out of our bodies just as our bodies pass in and out of our land; that as we and our land are part of one another, so all who are living as neighbors here, human and plant and animal, are part of one another, and so cannot possibly flourish alone; that, therefore, our culture must be our response to our place, our culture and our place are images of each other and inseparable from each other, and so neither can be better than the other.” - Wendell Berry
"We care for only what we love. We love only what we know. We truly know only what we experience." - Steven Bouma-Prediger
"If you want to seed a place with activity, put out food. Food attracts people who attract more people." - William H. Whyte
Don't forget our overall goal to create quality places to live, work, learn and play!
Plan for the Future
United Growth would like to support the placemaking approach to rural and urban planning in Kent County. Our Tuesday Series, on the third Tuesday of every month, will be in 3 parts:
1- Local leaders in placemaking will share with us their innovations, vision and success.
2- We will look at exciting efforts going on in comparable regions.
3- Speakers will share their experience with current challenges in Kent County.
Hopefully some aspect of this mission speaks to you and your work, because we want you to join us in this new direction! Together, we can learn more about these issues and how to take action in our political participation, work and communities. Check out the NEWS and Ways to Get Involved below for upcoming events!
Links and Events
MSU Land Policy Institute releases study on building propserous places in Michigan: Estimating the value of placemaking features on home values. Click for more information http://www.landpolicy.msu.edu/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=162