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gunder14

Development Shifts and Time

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My Mom recently came to visit me and I took her for a quick tour of the neighborhood, from Wealthy up Fuller to Cherry and back around. She really like the neighborhood and said that she'd like to come back with one of her girlfriends so they could walk around and check out some of the stores, grab lunch at the cheetah and what not. We were talking about the area how its been improving over the past few years and she said something interesting that i'd heard her say before but i'd never really thought about. My parents moved to Ann Arbor back in the early 70's and for the better part of that decade and into the 80's, Ann Arbor's Main St. was a wasteland. Nothing but old newspapers blowing down the street...jk. Now it's the nicest, most pedestrian friendly street in the whole city. (note, universal themes of a good pedestrian street are density and diversity).

Point being, neighborhoods change and those movements take time and effort and in the face of what has been the worst economic crisis in decades, i'm glad to see that progress is still being made.

I guess i'm just writing this because there are people out there that I talk to who continually and systematically try to point out the weaknesses of not just GR, but the mitten as a whole. We know times are tough, we know the med. stuff won't make up for all of the lost jobs, we know the parking downtown is crappy, we know retailers are hurting. But there's something else we know that's more important and better yet, more consistent than everything else, and that's the inevitability of change. So now we're posed with the question, how will we change?

I'm relatively new to this website but I have to say that I enjoy the optimistic vibe and the focus on progress and ideas. I'm not just new to this site, but also new(er) to the city as well. Well, actually I went to GV back in the day but I won't count that.

One last thing...what are the main channels for people in this city to be involved with the community (city) at large and to voice our concerns/ideas on development? Websites like these are good for spectating but it would be nice to do more than that sometimes.

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My Mom recently came to visit me and I took her for a quick tour of the neighborhood, from Wealthy up Fuller to Cherry and back around. She really like the neighborhood and said that she'd like to come back with one of her girlfriends so they could walk around and check out some of the stores, grab lunch at the cheetah and what not. We were talking about the area how its been improving over the past few years and she said something interesting that i'd heard her say before but i'd never really thought about. My parents moved to Ann Arbor back in the early 70's and for the better part of that decade and into the 80's, Ann Arbor's Main St. was a wasteland. Nothing but old newspapers blowing down the street...jk. Now it's the nicest, most pedestrian friendly street in the whole city. (note, universal themes of a good pedestrian street are density and diversity).

Point being, neighborhoods change and those movements take time and effort and in the face of what has been the worst economic crisis in decades, i'm glad to see that progress is still being made.

I guess i'm just writing this because there are people out there that I talk to who continually and systematically try to point out the weaknesses of not just GR, but the mitten as a whole. We know times are tough, we know the med. stuff won't make up for all of the lost jobs, we know the parking downtown is crappy, we know retailers are hurting. But there's something else we know that's more important and better yet, more consistent than everything else, and that's the inevitability of change. So now we're posed with the question, how will we change?

I'm relatively new to this website but I have to say that I enjoy the optimistic vibe and the focus on progress and ideas. I'm not just new to this site, but also new(er) to the city as well. Well, actually I went to GV back in the day but I won't count that.

One last thing...what are the main channels for people in this city to be involved with the community (city) at large and to voice our concerns/ideas on development? Websites like these are good for spectating but it would be nice to do more than that sometimes.

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One last thing...what are the main channels for people in this city to be involved with the community (city) at large and to voice our concerns/ideas on development? Websites like these are good for spectating but it would be nice to do more than that sometimes.

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Start by getting involved with your neighborhood association. Neighborhoods are always looking for new contributors and the City always directs developers to work through details of their proposals with the neighborhood organizations. Neighborhood Associations are also a great introduction to local land use concerns as well as the political landscape of the City.

Start there and then find an opening on a citizen board or committee at the City - there are many opportunities. Then its on to the City Commission and eventually running for Mayor.

Here's to your new career!

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Thanks a lot for the responses. I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions and look forward to getting more involved in the community. As far as neighborhood associations go, I live near the Gaia (sp? man how many times have I looked at that sign?) Cafe, so what neighborhood would that be exactly? I hear people throw the labels "East town, Midtown, Uptown" but i'm still not sure exactly what the boundaries are.

And to fotoman311, i'm currently in a, well let's call it a "transitional" phase, aka jobless, so I'd definitely like to hear more about that job opportunity. I have my sights set on a different career path but as time goes on i'm finding that I like this urban planning/community development stuff and would like to try that cap on. Oh, and by a different career path, it does not involve he mayors office. smile.gif

Thanks again.

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Thanks a lot for the responses. I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions and look forward to getting more involved in the community. As far as neighborhood associations go, I live near the Gaia (sp? man how many times have I looked at that sign?) Cafe, so what neighborhood would that be exactly? I hear people throw the labels "East town, Midtown, Uptown" but i'm still not sure exactly what the boundaries are.

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You're in East Hills (and live near me!) Hopefully this summer, I'll have time to explore getting involved in the neighborhood association. Maybe I'll see you around!

Neighborhood Association:

Contact: Kathryn Caliendo

131 Eastern SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Phone: 616.454.9079

Fax: 616.454.4050

Email: [email protected]

http://www.easthillscouncil.org

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