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GRDadof3

Grand Rapids fares well on "job sprawl" study

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According to the Brookings Institution, Grand Rapids landed in the Top 10 of 53 mid-sized metro areas studied for "job sprawl", or the percentage of jobs within 10 miles of the metro area center. Over 84% of jobs in Grand Rapids are within 10 miles of downtown, better than the national average. Detroit and Chicago ranked as two of the worst for large urban areas. The bad news is that a net 8% of jobs moved out of the Grand Rapids city center from 1998 - 2006.

Chris Knape article

Brookings Institution Report Page

Report (pdf)

Job Sprawl Map

What can the city do more to attract and retain employers to the city center?

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...What can the city do more to attract and retain employers to the city center?

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I find the measure "within 10 miles" to be a little disingenuous or maybe contrived.

Detroit/Chicago (and others) are large enough that it's unreasonable to expect a majority of jobs to exist within 10 miles of the city-center.

Grand Rapids should have 84% of it's jobs within 10 miles of the city-center (because that's a 10 mile radius... or a circle 20 miles across).... 20 miles end-to-end pretty much encompasses the entire metro area!

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  • DT amenities would make employees want to work in the core

  • Transportation solutions (parking, carpools, parking, bicycle routes, parking, mass transit, parking education and awareness)

  • Fill the empty gaps along Monroe Center and other DT streets

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I find the measure "within 10 miles" to be a little disingenuous or maybe contrived.

Detroit/Chicago (and others) are large enough that it's unreasonable to expect a majority of jobs to exist within 10 miles of the city-center.

Grand Rapids should have 84% of it's jobs within 10 miles of the city-center (because that's a 10 mile radius... or a circle 20 miles across).... 20 miles end-to-end pretty much encompasses the entire metro area!

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In my opinion what Grand Rapids can do to attract residents to the core of the city or neighborhoods is bring amenities that people want such as, grocery stores, pharmacies, and dry cleaners within walking distance or along a bus route. That is part of the reason I like where I currently live there is a Family fare down the street, dry cleaner, video rental store and many other things that I don't have to drive or walk far to get to. The city should really push for walkability because not many cities in this area can taut that well maybe East Grand Rapids.

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True, the 10 mile radius rule seemed a bit arbitrary to me too. But the comparison wasn't between cities like Chicago and Detroit vs. Grand Rapids, GR was put into a mid-sized city category, where it scored well.

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  • DT amenities would make employees want to work in the core

  • Transportation solutions (parking, carpools, parking, bicycle routes, parking, mass transit, parking education and awareness)

  • Fill the empty gaps along Monroe Center and other DT streets

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They us a big D shape instead of a circle. ;)

Joe

Plus with cities like Chicago, Detroit, NYC, etc. that are bordered by water/other countries, how do they place a simple 'circle' around the city. Seems like a tough way to measure things.

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