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Survey Looks at Visual Preferences for Future Development in Northwest Michigan


The public is being asked to provide information about what they would like their developed communities to look like in the future by taking the Framework For Our Future Visual Preference Survey. The online survey includes photographs and questions about preferred types and designs of development, including housing, commercial, and public spaces.

“Just as the natural landscape of northern Michigan created a place we are all drawn to, so can the built environment create a place that draws people to our commercial corridors creating economic opportunity,” said Scott Gest, a regional planner at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.

“With changing preferences exhibited by today’s marketplace, creating unique and vibrant places is increasingly critical to laying the framework for successful communities.”

Survey participants will be asked to view a variety of photographs of different kinds of developed communities and indicate the qualities they like and dislike, and whether that kind of development is appropriate for their community. The survey includes images and questions about residential and commercial buildings, streetscapes, and public spaces.

“Without a doubt our region is classified as rural; however, more urban type development patterns have existed in our larger villages and cities since their inception in the late 1800s”, said Matt McCauley, director of regional planning and community development at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. “It’s these development patterns that give many of our communities their charm and economic vitality.”

Survey responses will be used in the development of Framework For Our Future: Tools and Strategies for Supporting The Grand Vision including conceptual visualizations. This planning resource will be available to local decision makers and other stakeholders who are looking for ways to address local challenges while meeting community goals and supporting The Grand Vision.


Click to take the Visual Preference Survey for Developed Areas

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The professionals at Networks Northwest help our City Council, Planning Commission, and staff make thoughtful decisions to ensure our community is sustainable and resilient for many years to come.

Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager