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City of St. Joseph Launches “Resilient St. Joseph”

by Claire Karner
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Public kickoff meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 31 at St. Joseph High School.

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – July 22, 2014 – The City of St. Joseph is launching an innovative new effort to improve the community’s capacity to thrive in the face of future shocks and stresses.  Through a groundbreaking master planning process called “Resilient St. Joseph,” the city will tackle issues such as natural resource preservation, efforts to build the local economy, and ways to manage the impacts of climate variability.

Through this project, the city will update its Master Plan.  Such local planning processes lay the groundwork for transportation improvements, economic development programs, and neighborhood improvement efforts. By planning with resilience in mind, communities can reduce their vulnerabilities to wild swings in the economy, extreme weather events and other forces that can cause long-term economic and human hardships.

Residents are encouraged to join local leaders and elected officials on Thursday, July 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Joseph High School’s Student Center to officially kick off the public engagement portion of this community visioning process. Speakers will include Michele Lonergan from Local First of Grand Rapids; Michigan’s State Climatologist, Dr. Jeff Andresen; Dr. Lorraine Cameron from the Michigan Department of Community Health; Marcy Colclough from the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission; and community planners from LIAA, a nonprofit community service organization focused on increasing community and economic resilience.

LIAA (liaa.org) has partnered with the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan Townships Association, the Michigan Association of Planning, and urban planning professionals at the University of Michigan for this project.  Valued at over $100,000, the Resilient St. Joseph project is being paid for by a grant obtained by LIAA from the Kresge Foundation. The City of St. Joseph is also contributing over $40,000 to help pay for professional planning support, research, technical assistance, and policy development.

Public involvement is a major component of the planning process and a key to its success. All citizens are invited and encouraged to get involved and help create a vision for the future of their community. Public involvement workshops are planned for August 13, September 24 and October 22. Times and locations for the scheduled public gatherings - as well as more information about the project - are posted on the project website, www.resilientmichigan.org/st_joe

Contacts:

John Hodgson, Community Development Director
City of St. Joseph
jhodgson@sjcity.com
(269) 983-5541

Claire Karner, Community Planner
LIAA
ckarner@liaa.org
(231) 929-3696
www.liaa.org

 

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