Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Planning Manager Tim Kelly emails a weekly GR Forward update to the project Steering Committee. Here's this week's communication:

Greetings Downtown Plan Steering Committee and Community Partners:

I hope you are all getting a chance to enjoy some of this lovely Friday weather. This week’s email is brief, but I want to share two things.


First, things are beginning to take shape for our consultant team’s return trip the week of May 5. We will be holding our second Steering Committee meeting on Thursday, May 8, and the rest of the week is starting to fill up with additional stakeholder interviews, tours of Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, and additional data collection activities. Thanks to all who have already offered their time to be interviewed or provide tours. If anyone else is interested in being involved in any of the activities that week, please let me know.


Second, on the information front I thought you all would enjoy this article and video on the City of Santa Monica’s attempt to create a local well-being index: It is an unique attempt to establish a single holistic metric to identify a community’s overall happiness. While most cities can likely point to factors that contribute to well-being, such as health, safety, sense-of -community, and employment, the question how do you weigh each of these factors? Also, what existing statistics can be used to measure them? It will be interesting to see how Santa Monica answers these questions, and whether their approach can be translated to other cities to help inform local policies.

As always, if you have any questions please let me know. Otherwise, have a great Easter weekend.