Marquette will receive placemaking funding for downtown

Marquette will be one of eight Michigan cities participating in a placemaking process through the Michigan Municipal League, which means grant funding to improve downtown Marquette. 
The effort is called PlacePlans, and is a joint project with Michigan State University and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, meant to help communities design and plan for placemaking projects that can transform a city or neighborhood into something better fitted for economic revitalization.
In Marquette, that translates to a study on how to fit Baraga Avenue into the town's downtown area. Baraga was formerly separated from the downtown by train tracks, but is still a major artery with business and civic buildings and residences, and forms a connection to Marquette's lakeshore.
Even though the railroad tracks are gone, walkability is still an issue, with an "uninviting streetscape and breaks in the city's urban fabric," according to the Michigan Municipal League.
The project planned is called the Baraga Avenue Enhancement Project, and would develop a design plan to make the street more walkable, connect downtown with the lakefront more effectively, and make the area more attractive to business investment.
The other cities receiving funds are Cadillac, Detroit, Flint, Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo and Midland.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Michigan Municipal League
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