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GRDadof3

Should West Michigan consider itself part of Chicagoland?

Should West Michigan, particularly Grand Rapids, consider itself part of Chicagoland?   80 members have voted

  1. 1. Should we identify with Greater Chicagoland?

    • Yes, anything to differentiate from Michigan
      2
    • Yes, for other reasons...
      7
    • No, too far away
      41
    • No, for other reasons...
      33
    • Maybe, and here's why...
      2
    • Other
      0

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35 posts in this topic


One aspect that I tend to agree with is that State lines have become less relevant in a global economy. The things we share with Southeast Michigan can pretty much be relegated to road building and state programs. It pretty much ends there, as commerce does not stop at the state line.

However, we are not even remotely linked to Chicagoland via our infrastructure.

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No.

W. Michigan needs to stop trying to live vicariously through some far away city that doesn't give a darn about us, or looks down on us, and learn to make its own identity.

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Not with a city. But I could see us identifying with more of a "corridor" which is how many areas are identified these days.

From my perspective, we are more tied to Milwaukee, Chicago, and Indianapolis as a grouping. But all of those are indirect ties. Indy and Grand Rapids are more alike in feel to me than Detroit and GR.

I tend to look at things by where people are moving to (and from) and why (outside of the job factor).

So I may be a little off base.

But, using our numbers from last year,

The top choices for relocation out of West Michigan:

1. Indy

2. Chicago

3. Anywhere south

4. Anywhere west

Biggest reasons given on relocation options:

1. Indy reminds a lot of people of GR.

2. Chicago is still close enough to West Michigan for visits.

3. If I need to move, it is going to be to a completely different place.

The top points of origin for people relocating to West Michigan:

1.Chicago

2.Indy

3.New York area

4.Detroit.

And the people that moved here from Chicago and Indy tell us that the same things about GR that were stated above by GR people moving there.

Pretty interesting.

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Not with a city. But I could see us identifying with more of a "corridor" which is how many areas are identified these days.

From my perspective, we are more tied to Milwaukee, Chicago, and Indianapolis as a grouping. But all of those are indirect ties. Indy and Grand Rapids are more alike in feel to me than Detroit and GR.

I tend to look at things by where people are moving to (and from) and why (outside of the job factor).

So I may be a little off base.

But, using our numbers from last year,

The top choices for relocation out of West Michigan:

1. Indy

2. Chicago

3. Anywhere south

4. Anywhere west

Biggest reasons given on relocation options:

1. Indy reminds a lot of people of GR.

2. Chicago is still close enough to West Michigan for visits.

3. If I need to move, it is going to be to a completely different place.

The top points of origin for people relocating to West Michigan:

1.Chicago

2.Indy

3.New York area

4.Detroit.

And the people that moved here from Chicago and Indy tell us that the same things about GR that were stated above by GR people moving there.

Pretty interesting.

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I do feel Grand Rapids is more closely connected to Chicago than Detroit. But I think it's a stretch to consider us an exurb of Chicago. If we had a high speed rail connection that might change. :)

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No.

W. Michigan needs to stop trying to live vicariously through some far away city that doesn't give a darn about us, or looks down on us, and learn to make its own identity.

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Grand Rapids now has its own idenity if Gr were to be lumped in as a Chicago Suburb then that would be lost. Being a Chicago Burb will do nothing to help Gr. Id say you can maybe include the Benton Harbor area but thats a stretch as well.

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I think that Grand Rapids wouldn't be a suburb of Chicago, but G.R. always will be associated with a larger city. Up to this point is has been Detroit. For example the sports teams that people root for in G.R. as natives. I think that it would be more beneficial to ally ourselves with Chicago. People who come from there are shocked by the affordability of houses and the short commutes. We could boost our population and sell off some of our real estate surplus at decent prices.

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GR is a part of Chicagoland in only one way: much of their air their pollution blows over the lake and settles in West Michigan. The idea that GR should present itself as part of a region hundreds of miles away is ridiculous on so many levels I don't know where to begin.

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In the best tradition of Chicagoland politics, I voted for both of the "no" options. (Finger slipped. Seriously.)

However, if being part of a larger world would eliminate front page newspaper articles about the Barbie doll turning 50, I'd be all for it.

(department of slow learning down at Michigan & Monroe: Sarah Palin, The Bachelor, and now Barbie)

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No.

W. Michigan needs to stop trying to live vicariously through some far away city that doesn't give a darn about us, or looks down on us, and learn to make its own identity.

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This is all so stupid/ignorant!

Since when isn't West Michigan the "West Michigan Region"?

Chicago is Chicago and Detroit is Detroit. The Greater Grand Rapids area is West Michigan, PERIOD!

Welcome to Furniture City and the Medical Mile

West Michigan is the second biggest giving area in the country. Why would we even need to be associated with a different region?

This is totally ignorant.

~John

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I'm hoping that at the Econ Club meeting, Richard Longworth was met with a deafening silence when he proposed this idea (chirp chirp chirp...)

However, I would say globally speaking, Grand Rapids needs to differentiate its brand from "Michigan", which is going on a 10 year economic depression.

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I think the negativity associated with "Michigan" as a global brand is really misdirected Detroit-bashing.

The best way to get GR out from our state's depressing, oppressive shadow it to continue building the Grand Rapids brand itself.

Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland have no trouble differentiating themselves.

Similarly, San Diego and San Francisco are not worried about the problems with crime in L.A. (in terms of their own regional brand).

I can go on and on (Philly vs. Pittsburg, Miami vs. Jacksonville, Lexington vs. Louisville, St. Louis vs. Kansas City).

In the end, Grand Rapids will sink or swim on its own merits. If we continue to grow as a region we'll be fine. Heck, we could be the Spokane of the 21st century! ;)

Now, in terms of Chicagoland it's 180 miles away. I'm not aware of any cities who are 2 hours from a metro area of 4.5 million people yet market themselves as part of a different, metro further away. Personally, I recognize the desire to differentiate ourselves from Detroit, but I find the idea that we're part of Chicagoland to be ludicrous. We could certainly market ourselves that way, but anyone looking at a map would think we're crazy. Benton Harbor on the other hand should be doing that already "Chicagoland homes for less than $1000!!!! Welcome to Benton Harbor, Michigan... Chicagoland's affordable getaway."

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I'm hoping that at the Econ Club meeting, Richard Longworth was met with a deafening silence when he proposed this idea (chirp chirp chirp...)

However, I would say globally speaking, Grand Rapids needs to differentiate its brand from "Michigan", which is going on a 10 year economic depression.

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I'm hoping that at the Econ Club meeting, Richard Longworth was met with a deafening silence when he proposed this idea (chirp chirp chirp...)

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No.

W. Michigan needs to stop trying to live vicariously through some far away city that doesn't give a darn about us, or looks down on us, and learn to make its own identity.

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I would just like to say that G.R. should unhitch itself from East Michigan as much as possible. While there are some illustrious East Michiganders in our midst, we should focus our recruiting efforts at Chicago.

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chicagoland.jpg

Nope. I think the big blue thing in the middle might have something to do with it.

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No. First West Michigan is too far away from Chicago. Secondly, Grand Rapids and West Michigan seems to be independent from Detroit and SE Michigan leaving the opportunity to establish our own identity, something this region should seize upon.

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I voted no. Besides being just too far from Chicago, I think Grand Rapids has to do a much better job of marketing itself as a unique, distinct city. Off the top of my head I cannot think of any metro areas in the U.S. that are as large as Grand Rapids but so relatiely unknown outside of their state. When I tell people where I am from originally I almost always get a blank stare when I say "Grand Rapids". I have to then tell people that it's in Michigan. A lot of people will then ask if it's by Detroit. I live in Austin now, but I also lived in Minnesota for a few years and even there a lot of people were clueless. Now I just tell people that it's across the lake from Milwaukee.

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I voted no. Besides being just too far from Chicago, I think Grand Rapids has to do a much better job of marketing itself as a unique, distinct city. Off the top of my head I cannot think of any metro areas in the U.S. that are as large as Grand Rapids but so relatiely unknown outside of their state. When I tell people where I am from originally I almost always get a blank stare when I say "Grand Rapids". I have to then tell people that it's in Michigan. A lot of people will then ask if it's by Detroit. I live in Austin now, but I also lived in Minnesota for a few years and even there a lot of people were clueless. Now I just tell people that it's across the lake from Milwaukee.

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Being strongly linked with Chicago in fact and mind would be very healthy for West Michigan. We would easily retain our own identity. Residents of Chicago have maintained "cottages" along the west coast since Hemingway's day.

Chicago is one of the healthiest and greatest cities in the US, and I think our character is closer to that city than to Detroit, unfortunately for Detroit.

Already some people commute by the week and Amtrak to Chicago. amtrak could easily be upgraded in equipment and arrangements to get to chicago to close to 3 hours, perhaps 2 and a half. IMHO west michigan leaders should be working overtime to get stimulus money to upgrade that Amtrak route.

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If we had things like a high speed rail directly to Chicago, or a ferry from Holland to Chicago - I think that may change people's minds about our connections with Chicago...I still voted yes though because I think in some small ways we are a lot like Chicago sans being directly off Lake Michigan. I know some people who live in Chicago who would come visit GR and when they were downtown they said to me this looks like a mini Chicago because of all the building styles etc. Realistically, we're probably not there yet and I agree that we should have our own identity anyway...but on the flip side I would rather someone label us as a Chicago exurb than a Detroit exurb.

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