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 Art Prize Everyone:

Hope have enjoyed the beautiful weather this week and are finding time to take in all the great art around Downtown.

This week we continued our public engagement efforts, meeting with the Creston Neighborhood Association, and JBAN / SWAN / West Grand. A big thanks to everyone that attended for having these important conversations and providing your input for GR Forward. Next week our neighborhood meetings continue with the Black Hills on Tuesday at 6p at United in Christ Ministries (1035 Godfrey Avenue). We will also be holding meetings with the GR Rowers, a delegation from the GRAM, and participating on a panel on WGVU-TV.

A reminder, you can find an updated list of our meetings, as well as the draft plan, on the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. website (scroll halfway down the page). Please continue to promote these meetings within your networks to ensure we get as many participants as possible. Also, if anyone has additional ideas for partners that we can meet with, please let me know.

Web Numbers

The latest web and social media numbers are below. Be sure to continue to share the links below in your network so everyone can stay up to date with our GR Forward activities.


This article on an innovative approach to funding open space in San Francisco is really interesting.

Residents in two of the City’s fastest growing neighborhoods took it upon themselves to form the country’s first Green Benefit District (GBD), which is modeled after a Community Benefit District (CBD), though used solely for maintaining and improving parks, plazas, gardens, and sidewalks. In one year, it is expected the GBD generate $500,000, 23 percent of which will be used to build a mobile app that will enable residents to see where, when, and by whom their assessment dollars will be spent. Of the remaining funds, it is expected that 30 percent will be used for maintenance, another 30 percent for improvements, and the rest for operations and contingency. While it is the first of its kind in the country, it is sure to set an example for others on how to take ownership of public spaces in their neighborhoods.

Speaking of open space, this profile from the Urban Land Institute on the finalists for its Open Space Award provides some amazing examples of projects from around the world, and demonstrates the transformative power of open spaces on the growth of cities. A lot of inspiration as we talk about public spaces in Downtown and along the River Corridor in Grand Rapids.

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