Concentrate Speaker Event: The Complete Downtown Experience

What makes a place great for everyone? How do we create a downtown that's attractive to both future generations and the people who live here now? Cities all over the U.S. are wrestling with these questions, and some have arrived at more successful answers than others.

Ann Arbor's downtown is a mixture of vintage buildings, local favorites, new businesses, and popular cultural amenities. But its two most vibrant areas (State & Liberty and Main Street) are separated by a series of parking garages and scattered retail blocks. How do we connect and develop them to create a coherent and revitalized whole? How do the adjacent neighborhoods impact its economic and social health?

Concentrate, in partnership with the Ann Arbor DDA, has invited executive director & CEO of the Michigan Municipal League Dan Gilmartin to address these challenges and more. Dan will  discuss where people are choosing to live and why, and how Ann Arbor can enhance its sense of place to attract both the next generation of resident and its employers.

The event is part of a four-part "Great Places" speaker series, where we invite Concentrate's readers to an on-going conversation about the future of Ann Arbor's downtown. We hope you'll join us, and invite your friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

WHEN:     Thursday, March 29th, 2012, 4:30-6:30pm
WHERE:   Conor O'Neill's in downtown Ann Arbor (318 South Main Street)
WHO:        The event is free and open to Concentrate's readers, but seating is limited so RSVP below.

Doors open at 4:15pm. Refreshments will be served and the speaker program will begin at 4:45pm.
Conversation and questions are welcome afterward.

This is a partnership event with the Ann Arbor DDA as part of the Connecting William Street Project – exploring topics with the community that are relevant and informative to the planning process. They'll be providing a short 5 minute project update at the beginning of the event.

Concentrate's Speaker Series is sponsored by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority..


Dan Gilmartin is the executive director & CEO of the Michigan Municipal League. Through his work with communities, Dan is recognized as a national leader in the fields of urban revitalization, placemaking, local government reform and transportation policy.

Dan serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities and as a member of the Michigan Future, Inc. Leadership Council. He also served for four years as the lead advocate for Michigan’s communities in Lansing and in Washington, where he concentrated on a number of key issues including transportation, land use and urban redevelopment.

In 2010, Dan added radio talk show host to his resume as host of The Prosperity Agenda on News/Talk 760 WJR, which is Michigan’s highest rated talk station and can be heard throughout the Midwest and Canada. He is a frequent blogger and a contributing author to the book The Economics of Place, and a frequent speaker on matters pertaining to “place.”

Dan is a Michigan kid, a Detroit native (and booster) and currently resides in the historic downtown of Northville, Michigan with his wife Lori and two young sons.

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