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:

Good Morning All:

I hope your week is coming to a successful conclusion.


We had a very successful launch to the Open House last week. At the opening event last Friday we had over 150 people stop by, and an additional 20 came by on Saturday. For those of you that were not able to make it down, we hope to see you during our regular hours from 3p-7p every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Also, be on the lookout for additional events being hosted in the space.

Another component of outreach is also starting to take shape. As I mentioned in previous emails, we are reviving our Speaker Series that was so successful last year, and I am happy to announce that our first speaker, Jennifer Keesmaat, is confirmed for November 20, 2014. Jennifer is a renowned urbanist and the Chief Planner for the City of Toronto. She is committed to creating places where people flourish, and she speaks with passion about city building and the need for building ownership in a shared future. Below are links to two of Jennifer’s TED talks. As with last year, this will be a free event for the public, and will occur at 6:30 PM at Kendall College (17 Pearl St). I hope to see all of you there.

Walk to School

Own Your City


Another busy week of presentations. Again, if anyone has suggestions for meetings that we can attend please let me know.

  • Grand Rapids Public School Board
  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority Managers Meeting
  • West Michigan Environmental Leadership Luncheon
  • Grand Valley State University Environmental Planning Class

Web Numbers

Another big week for the website, and our social media also grew at a much faster rate than normal. We look forward to seeing those trends continue as we progress with the Open House and our other upcoming events. As always, be sure to share the links below with anyone that might be interested so we can continue to promote GR Forward.

Facebook -

Twitter -

Instagram -

Website Views

Facebook Likes

Instagram Followers

Twitter Followers

14,413 (+1,749)

528 (+62)

147 (+18)

143 (+40)


In addition to the two videos linked above, I want to share this article on a pedestrian bridge in London (affectionately called the “Scissorhands Bridge”): As the article says, the design was actually a clever solution to an archaic law that requires boats be able to pass through the little used canal. Whatever the cause, the bridge is part public art, part practical infrastructure, and a great amenity for the City.

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