Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC)

What is Placemaking and LQC?

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being.

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC) is a DIY approach based on taking incremental steps, trying low cost experiments, and tapping into local talents (e.g. neighbors, entrepreneurs) to quickly translate a community's vision into reality and to build momentum for further improvements.

What are LQC Placemaking Projects?

LQC placemaking projects are small, inexpensive, and incremental community projects. They do not need to cost a lot of money to get off the ground. Nor do they need to take a lot of time to plan and complete. But, these smaller types of placemaking activities can often help to improve a neighborhood and make it a better place to live, work and play.

How Can LQC Placemaking Projects Help My Community?

  • Create community gathering places
  • Attract residents and visitors
  • Bring life to downtowns
  • Support walkable communities
  • Preserve open and green spaces
Where Did LQC Originate?

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has been working to help people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities since 1975, and have completed projects in over 2,500 communities in 40 countries and all 50 US states. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper is a concept that PPS developed and advocates for continued local placemaking development and sustainability. Michigan Realtors® offers micro grants to assist local associations and their communities in strengthening their LQC placemaking initiatives.


Apply for a 2018 Grant

Michigan Realtors® is now offering LQC placemaking micro grants. 


Grant Information Quick Facts

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Andrea Bretz - Email
Operations Project Manager
Michigan Realtors®

Tell Us About Your Event


Do you have photos or video from a recent LQC Placemaking event you attended and or organized? Send all photos and video links to us. YouTube or Vimeo links are preferred.


Get Involved! Join the Conversation on Facebook!

MI Great Places is an online community dedicated to shaping the future of placemaking in Michigan. Join the Facebook group below to connect with LQC project coordinators and get the latest updates on placemaking events near you.

  Join MI Great Places on Facebook

In The News

Wayland Main Street/DDA Receive Grant for Upcoming Rain Garden
Read Article

Transforming Derby’s Alley into a useable public space
Read Article

Sense of Place
View Brochure

GMAR Realtors® Award Placemaking Grant to Southfield 
Read Press Release

USA Today - New Mural Evokes Hometown Nostalgia in Howell
Read Article

MML - New Report Chronicles a Decade of League Placemaking Efforts
Read Article

Bridge - Placemaking Takes Hold in Michigan's "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper"
Read Article



2018 LQC Placemaking Events

 Funded in part by MI Great Places, Inc.


Water Wonderland Board of Realtors® is helping to update Kiwanis Park to become ADA compliant. Many community partners are committed to the project, and this specific contribution will fund a wheelchair accessible swing. The renovation of the park will provide families in the community with the opportunity to enjoy safe, inclusive, outdoor play. The project is co-sponsored by MI Great Places, Inc. 


MI Great Places, Inc., sponsored the Tulips and Juleps event during the 2018 Tulip Festival in Holland. The Tulip Festival draws over 500,000 visitors to Holland and serves as fantastic example of their continued approach to make Holland a desirable place to live, work and play. 


MI Great Places, Inc. sponsored the Howell Main Street Rock the Black music stage during Summer 2018. Howell Main Street is a grass roots 501(c)3 celebrating their community in innovative ways, filled with pride for downtown Howell. They utilize their community partners to promote the vitality at the heart of downtown Howell.
 Lake Orion

The Flint Street alleyway will be transformed into a destination spot in Lake Orion, instead of simply a connection between the public parking and the heart of downtown. The project will add seating, flowers, art and a permanent pergola. Many community partners have come onboard to the alleyway activation. The project is co-sponsored by Real Living John Burt Realty and MI Great Places, Inc. 


MI Great Places, Inc., sponsored The Grand Experience at the downtown Lansing river trail. The project activates an underutilized area on the river trail the entire summer of 2018. The Grand Experience hosts food trucks, art, music and activities 5 days a week to drive interest in downtown Lansing as a destination, not only to work, but also to live and play. 


The Lewiston DDA continues their downtown beautification project by purchasing benches build by local students. The benches are placed strategically in the downtown area to promote activity and encouraging people to congregate. The project is co-sponsored by Huston Real Estate, Inc., and MI Great Places, Inc.


Make it Manchester Thursday Nights will promote downtown Manchester through art, music, food and activities from May through October of 2018. Many community partners have signed on to revitalize Manchester as a renewed destination. Jennifer Wojtowicz of Proper Property Service, Inc., and MI Great Places, Inc., are co-sponsoring the project. 


Through a painting competition, Fresh Coast Plein Aire: Painting the Landscape, artists are encouraged to paint outdoors. The project invites artists to create in whatever space they choose across the entire city, engaging visitors and art lovers during the creation. The cash prizes draw artists and collectors from many states. The project is co-sponsored by Steve Pelto of Look Realty, Inc., and MI Great Places, Inc. 

 Milton Township

The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors® is revitalizing a local park with trash cans and bike racks to enhance visitor experiences. The trash receptacles will help to maintain a cleanliness in the park, while the bike racks will encourage people to stop and enjoy the park’s amenities. The project is sponsored by MI Great Places, Inc. 


Tables and chairs will be placed throughout downtown Niles to encourage people to spend time there. Local businesses will have free games available for people to enjoy. The initiative includes signage throughout downtown. The project is co-sponsored by Cressy & Everett Real Estate and MI Great Places, Inc. 

 Royal Oak

Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors® is leading the way to renovate Realtor® Park. The park will receive a much-needed update, including new playground equipment, which is currently in poor shape. All old equipment will be removed, and the park will become ADA compliant. MI Great Places, Inc., is a sponsor of this major park renovation. 


The Wayland DDA is continuing its renovation of the Rain Garden area with a pavilion to add shelter to this new gathering space. It is located in a family-friendly restaurant district, and can be used by the public and for special events. The project is co-sponsored by Jean Farrell of Real Estate One – Success, Jason Makowski of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan, and MI Great Places, Inc. 


2017 LQC Placemaking Completed Projects

 Funded in part by MI Great Places, Inc.

Battle Creek
South Haven