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Concepts for Change
Through our public engagement sessions during the Design Lansing Master Planning process, we have heard from many people who not only have ideas of what they do and do not like about the physical conditions in Lansing, but also about the “culture” of Lansing. Most people agree that there is much to like about the residents here, but wish our community was more open to change.
A willingness to embrace change involves taking risks, but there are ways to mitigate those risks; the best is to get involved in the process! A large part of the Design Lansing Master Planning has been in engaging the public. We hope through these efforts that the community will feel comfortable with the concepts for change that have been proposed in our plan, and support us as the process moves forward.
Another way to ease the fear of change is to stay informed. We have posted all of the presentations and notes on our website to help keep this process open and available to the public: www.designlansing.net. It will be important as we enter the final phase of this process that anyone who has questions about what is in our plan be able to easily access the materials. We also plan to have printed copies of the Draft Plan here at the office for anyone to stop in and review.
And finally, we encourage all of our partners out in the community to engage their friends, neighbors, and co-workers in positive conversations about the potential we have here in the City. A positive attitude can be contagious, spread some around!
What We Learned From You…
The big ideas that describe the vision that guided the planning effort and shaped the objectives, strategies, and policy recommendations.
- Enhance and beautify the physical appearance of the community.
- Provide amenities that support healthy lifestyle that are accessible to all.
- Encourage urban gardens and other ecological activities in the city.
- Nurture strong education systems.
- Support vibrant cultural amenities.
- Implement strategies to strengthen and preserve our neighborhoods.
- Develop a culture of progress, respect, and openness to change, with an eye towards a better Lansing!
- In partnership with other agencies, participate or lead in efforts to develop better life skills for all citizens.
- Promote Lansing’s achievements and successes.
- Market our assets vigorously.
- Build citizen capacity for community leadership.
- Encourage a sense of ownership and pride in Lansing citizens and property owners.
- Encourage reinvestment in Lansing’s assets, both private and public.
How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways!
The things that people like about Lansing:
- Parks: All parks! Rivertrail, Zoo, and Hawk Island were the most frequently mentioned.
- Convenience: Short commutes, and lots to do nearby!
- Historic Architecture: We love the Capitol, old churches, old houses, and those beautiful little BWL pumping stations around town!
- Our Neighborhoods: We love the sense of community our neighborhoods provide.
A Tale of Two Cities?
As we have had conversations about Lansing around town, one thing that has become obvious is Lansing is like two cities in one! Many people we talk to love their neighborhood. Those who live in one part of town, typically appreciate the "small town" feel or the wide lots and curving streets and suburban character in their area. Those from an older neighborhood like the urban characteristics of houses on small lots and the walkable convenience. What our planning will address is not how to make the two more alike, but how to make each better, while creating a cohesive community.
The current conditions tell us that past practices are not sustainable and we need to be more thoughtful in how we move toward becoming an appealing viable 21st century city. The success of Lansing will ride on the ability of our citizens and leaders to guide us through the coming changes, with creativity and flexibility.
Design Lansing Survey Results
When we look at the things people like most about Lansing, one frequent theme is "Lansing is a small town with a big city feel". Although Lansing is a city of a little over 100,000 residents, small as cities go, it has colleges, state government, several major corporations and institutions that insure we have amenities (theater, sports, arts, bookstores, music, restaurants) and services (health care, travel options, shopping choices) beyond what is usually available in a city this size.
This is not just perception. Marketing data indicates the mid-Michigan area in general has a fairly high level of demand for, and support of, such amenities and services. Just sometimes it's not as high as we hope it might be. Effective planning identifies and builds on such strengths.