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The Grand Plan


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In what way do we shape our current green space, waterways, neighborhoods, schools, built infrastructure, transit, etc. into the future?. Write your ideas below no matter how expanding and detailed or as little as they may be.

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In what way do we shape our current green space, waterways, neighborhoods, schools, built infrastructure, transit, etc. into the future?.

That's the big question, isn't it. When thinking about the future, I try to imagine what what my children's children will face in their time...roughly 2050-2100. By then, I see the mobility being far more expensive, increasing the demand for living in close-in neighborhoods adjacent to schools, parks, local farmer's markets, community garden spaces, and "mass" transit.

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I have to say...

The more I learn about Grand Rapids, the more I'm impressed. It bucks the "Michigan trend" in so many ways. I guess even though that's a pretty loaded observation, that it can be summed up in one thought...that it's a central city that's progressive. Michigan has, over the years turned its back to the cities that put the state on the map. As a result, these great places that we've greated, we not only destroyed, but at the same time, we're destroying the areas that surround them with less-than-desirable lifestyle conditions. In effect, companies may find the Michigan business climate "good", but when it comes to attracting new ones, the culture here has become so drab. I was thinking today how it seems like if you're going to live in Michigan, the places you go on a daily basis are always going to require a car in order to transport yourself. Who wants to spend large percentages of one's life sitting in a car all the time?

Our state's cities are new to this urban reconsideration that has swept America and swept cities off thier feet in making them such wonderful places for people, companies and entrepreneurs to want to move to. Maybe we've been a little more hard pressed since we're heavily industrial based, which seems to be one extreme, where as a place like Atlanta is the NEW other extreme, business. Other places have healthy balances of both.

I think GR recognizes its role and is not afraid to lead Michigan's cities in innovation and trends that are so familiar in all other parts of the country, but so foreign in our state. Mass transit is a no brainer in our states 2 largest metro areas. One metro knows how to get it done, the other overpowers the negativity in our state. So, I say to GR to keep doing the right things despite your neighbors. Plan accordingly for yourself and the communities around you. One challenge I see in the future is unchecked growth, which stems from West Michigan's highly desirable living conditions. But with a strong central city, comes a strong, progressive common interest in creating high growth, high quality of living cities, suburbs, towns, and villages, all part of the Grand Rapids name.

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I think protection of "The Ridge" from development would be a considerable win.

It's beautiful rolling hills make it a prime target for development but it is a very unique area for farming. I think we should hang onto that area at all costs. Leave it rural!


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