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The City of Jackson retained Beckett & Raeder, Inc., to assist in creating a master plan to help shift the city’s economic paradigm from an industrial base to a place-conscious knowledge base.


To address its stalled economic engine, the City chose to aggressively pursue a Placemaking strategy promoted by the State of Michigan, which can be described as replacing the “people follow jobs” model with the “jobs follow people” model. Under this paradigm, a community makes investments in its citizens, in the form of attractive amenities such as choice in transportation, housing, employment, recreation, and culture, rather than investing exclusively in businesses in the form of tax abatement and resource allocation. Public input is a key feature of this model.


The City’s citizens were asked to describe each and every one of its myriad assets. The planning team committed to securing or producing rigorous, copious, and transparent data on which to base its decisions. As the City’s next chapter is written, it will continue to advance the art and science of planning as a case study in the evolution of the built form, the economics that drive it, the people who care for it, and the paradigms that shape it.

Jackson Community Master Plan
Jackson, Michigan
2016 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

Michigan Association of Planning

Click here to view Jackson Community Master Plan

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