East Lansing launches crowdfunding campaign to make safe areas to socialize, shop downtown
East Lansing has launched a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to create safe outdoor areas to socialize and support local businesses downtown. If the campaign raises $50,000 by Feb. 10, the funds will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Public Spaces Community Places program, according to a news release from the city and MEDC. Additions will include new market space, increased seating options, light installations, art displays and city programming, according to the release.
Embracing Winter with Creative Ways to Stay Outdoors
So how do we embrace winter, while also being mindful of not attracting big crowds this year? A few key insights from the webinars:
- Shift the conversation. Let’s talk about stylish winter gear, crisp air and blue skies, powdery snow, and how it’s nice to not get sweaty when riding your bike. Leave the bleak attitude behind. Pretend you are a kid again. Winter can be a delight!
- Keep the sidewalks clear. As Gil Penalosa said, in all seasons, “sidewalks are the most important infrastructure in any city.” Prioritizing snow removal from sidewalks help make it safe and enjoyable (and always free!) to venture out on foot!
- Think programs, not events. Events often mean crowds, or a one-time party. This year, ongoing, steady programming will spread out visits and aid in physical distancing (and may also better cater to different ages).
- Celebrate the season. Winter offers the excuse to warm by a fire pit, sit in the sun, drink a warm beverage, and keep moving to stay warm. Installations and programming that bring in elements that celebrate the season make it all the more special.
- Get creative. Government has adapted throughout 2020 – allowing things like more outdoor dining – and this type of fresh looks at old regulations is often needed to get creative over the winter.