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RobertMoses

Health/Perception of GR's Suburbs

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Folks,

I've enjoyed reading many of the fine posts on this forum about Grand Rapids, but wonder if it may be time to take a close look at the city's suburbs. I have seen a few threads comparing Grand Rapids with East Grand Rapids, but I haven't seen anything yet that focuses in detail on other suburbs such as Kentwood, Wyoming, Walker, Grandville, and Grand Rapids Township, to name a few.

I would enjoy any thoughts that fellow board members might have on these suburbs. Have they changed, as most suburbs have, over the past fifty years? Some might say that a number of these suburbs are built up, and that development is leapfrogging out further to places such as Byron and Gaines Township. What implications might this have on planning and development collaboration between the suburbs and Grand Rapids. Any thoughts would be great, and I'll chime in with mine in a few days.

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Folks,

I've enjoyed reading many of the fine posts on this forum about Grand Rapids, but wonder if it may be time to take a close look at the city's suburbs. I have seen a few threads comparing Grand Rapids with East Grand Rapids, but I haven't seen anything yet that focuses in detail on other suburbs such as Kentwood, Wyoming, Walker, Grandville, and Grand Rapids Township, to name a few.

I would enjoy any thoughts that fellow board members might have on these suburbs. Have they changed, as most suburbs have, over the past fifty years? Some might say that a number of these suburbs are built up, and that development is leapfrogging out further to places such as Byron and Gaines Township. What implications might this have on planning and development collaboration between the suburbs and Grand Rapids. Any thoughts would be great, and I'll chime in with mine in a few days.

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I am curious about one aspect you touched upon, and that is whether there has been any collaboration or even any interest in greater collaboration among cities/townships in the metro area. And if this is lacking (which it seems to be to me), are there examples elsewhere of governing bodies that strongly influence development/planning at a metro area level?

I have read that Wyoming, for instance, solicits feedback from its neighboring cities/townships when updating its master plan, but I've no idea whether they receive any feedback. I do know that Wyoming and Kentwood collaborate on Division Ave. And then there's the 425 agreements, although those seem to be happen more out of necessity than strategic planning.

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That makes for a pretty broad set of topics (could be its own forum really). But generally the topics have been mainly city-oriented because of the theme and mission of the forum in general.

Honestly, I wouldn't even know where to begin personally. Anyone else want to take a stab?

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I dug deep to find an existing thread to post this article . . . .

The Next Slum?

BY CHRISTOPHER B. LEINBERGER

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/subprime

Three paragraphs from this long and wide ranging article:

The decline of places like Windy Ridge and Franklin Reserve is usually attributed to the subprime-mortgage crisis, with its wave of foreclosures. And the crisis has indeed catalyzed or intensified social problems in many communities. But the story of vacant suburban homes and declining suburban neighborhoods did not begin with the crisis, and will not end with it. A structural change is under way in the housing market-a major shift in the way many Americans want to live and work. It has shaped the current downturn, steering some of the worst problems away from the cities and toward the suburban fringes. And its effects will be felt more strongly, and more broadly, as the years pass. Its ultimate impact on the suburbs, and the cities, will be profound.

Arthur C. Nelson, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, has looked carefully at trends in American demographics, construction, house prices, and consumer preferences. In 2006, using recent consumer research, housing supply data, and population growth rates, he modeled future demand for various types of housing. The results were bracing: Nelson forecasts a likely surplus of 22 million large-lot homes (houses built on a sixth of an acre or more) by 2025-that

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That link was already posted in another thread, though this one may be more appropriate.

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That link was already posted in another thread, though this one may be more appropriate.

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I certainly would not say that our suburbs are 'built up' to the point where we need to sprawl further out. I don't even feel that the city is 'built up' with its plethora of surface parking lots. Some of the adjacent suburbs like East, Wyoming, and Kentwood are what I would call a natural extension of the urban fabric of Grand Rapids. With relatively dense neighborhoods and good mixes of residential, retail, municpal/relgious structures.

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Jenison's 7-11 went out, it's a full out crisis for slurpee lovers...if that doesn't say bad state economy, I don't know what does.

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As it does, many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and

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Jenison's 7-11 went out, it's a full out crisis for slurpee lovers...if that doesn't say bad state economy, I don't know what does.

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I haven't seen a for sale/lease sign up there yet though. I wonder if anything is planned.

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