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:
Happy Friday All:
Things are coming together great for what is going to be an eventful week. As I have mentioned previously, next week will see the launch of our project website, and our team is really looking forward to having a resource available to share information on all things Plan related. Look for a press release related to this later in the week, but once the site is available I will be sure to send you all a link.
We are also excited to be a part of Movies in the Park on Friday, and Festival of the Arts on Saturday. Our team will be in attendance to talk with event goers and to start gathering public input. If you are going to attend either of those events, make sure you stop by to say hello and provide some input on the Plan!
This article on the role that transportation plays in shaping public space is really interesting. It also includes a link to a great TED talk from Amanda Burden, the former director of the New York City Department of City Planning: http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/embarq/248726/friday-fun-three-cities-demonstrate-role-transport-shaping-public-space
Among other things, Burden outlines some of the challenges New York has faced over previous decades in creating world-class public space (High Line, Battery Park, etc.). She also emphasizes the importance of public spaces in giving cities their identity. She notes that “successful” public spaces, are not something that happen by accident. They require attention to detail, and an understanding for how people move about and interact with the city. That said, the work and thought that goes into these places is worth the effort. A great street, plaza, park or other space will resonate deeply with people and can create truly memorable experiences. These experiences are what attract people to cities, and are what all of us in the realm of city building profession are trying to create.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. Please let me know if you have any questions.