Michigan REALTORS Are Transforming Public Spaces For Residents
REALTORS® in Michigan are improving communities with their “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC) placemaking initiative. LQC was born out of the idea that it’s not necessary to have a large budget or long timeline in order to make a big impact in public spaces. “Smaller, cost-effective placemaking projects that the LQC initiative provides can help improve a community and make it a more attractive and vibrant place.” says Gil White, Placemaking Consultant for the Michigan REALTORS®. Mr. White assists in both the grant process and educating communities around Michigan on the value of placemaking.
LQC projects build a greater sense of community and increases revenue for local businesses. For example, LQC helped to bring more visitors to Detroit’s Eastern Market by building a temporary community gathering space. They cleaned a large area with a pressure washer, used traffic barriers and brought in more than 120 chairs, oversized umbrellas and lighting to make the space inviting.
In addition, the city of Marquette, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, created extra seating areas during their popular Art Week on 3rd Street, as well as a mural. Hundreds of lights, including special effects lighting, were added during the Halloween week festivities, which will be used once again this year.
Upcoming 2107 projects include the Ypsilanti Farmer’s Market and Howell Main Street improvement. LQC will set up a multi-use space at the Ypsilanti market including; lighting, outdoor games, seating, patio heaters and picnic tables. The Howell area project will transform a 3 block alley by finishing up a mural the organization began in 2106, creating urban gardens, art, lighting and constructing event spaces.
The grants available for local REALTOR® association-sponsored LQC projects range between $500 and $3,500. REALTORS® have found that LQC dollars go much further when they join forces with existing community revitalization efforts.
“These projects provide the perfect opportunity for our members to get involved in local outreach programs, while creating a sense of place within communities around the state,” says Jason Copeman, 2017 Michigan REALTOR® President. “I have witnessed the rewards from the LQC project that was implemented in my hometown of Marquette, and I know my fellow local REALTORS® and I take pride in our continued connection with the community.”