Michigan Land Use Institute

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About Thriving Communities

Thriving Communities

Great Cities and Towns

The Michigan Land Use Institute’s Thriving Communities program creates great cities and towns by encouraging carefully planned public and private investments. Together with citizens, community leaders, and public officials, we promote transportation systems that increase residents’ options to get around safely and conveniently, and encourage policies that allow families to live in vibrant and attractive neighborhoods near jobs, shops, and schools.

Thriving Communities Staff

James Bruckbauer
Transportation Policy Specialist


Jim Lively 
MLUI Program Director
231-941-6584 ext. 13




By 2020, 25% of workers in the Traverse City area will “smart commute”—bike, walk, carpool or take the bus to work. We will advance a citizen-focused initiative called Local Motion to promote public transit, biking, walking, and ride-sharing. We will target the largest employers in the region to develop nonautomotive strategies for commuters. We will advocate for improvements to the bus, biking, and walking infrastructure to make it even easier to be less dependent on an automobile.


• The Thriving Communities team surveyed thousands of workers from five of the largest employers in the Grand Traverse region about their own transportation and commuting habits.

• Policy specialist James Bruckbauer is a leading voice in the smart growth debate statewide via his blog on mlui.org.

• The Michigan Transportation Odyssey, a three-day trek using only buses and trains to get from Detroit Metro Airport to Traverse City, was documented online and highlighted gaps in the state’s transportation system.

• MLUI was a leading advocate in Traverse City during the election-year debate over what to do with the city’s busy—and dangerous— Division Street. 

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org