The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in June 2015 named the City of Grand Rapids, Kent County and other neighboring Grand River-front communities among 40 finalists competing in the $800 million National Disaster Resilience Competition.

The competition was designed to award federal funds for cutting-edge projects that help communities recover from past disasters while improving their capacity to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from future extreme events. The flood of 2013, and the damage it left behind, as well as the growing risk of larger floods in the future, qualified our local communities to compete.

In response to the invitation, Kent County, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and the City of GR partnered with the State of Michigan to design The Grand Strategy.

The Grand Strategy is an innovative blueprint for action to protect and enhance vulnerable communities along a 40-mile stretch of the Grand River as it flows through Kent County and the heart of Michigan’s second largest population center. The Grand Strategy, which is based in part on the vision for the Grand River shaped by the community via GR Forward, will decrease the costly risks of extreme flooding and maximize the river’s value as a distinct economic, ecological and social asset, particularly through the urban core of Grand Rapids.

The Strategy also will demonstrate a new nature-based flood management approach and serve as a replicable model for waterfront communities across Michigan, the Great Lakes and beyond.

The project partners submitted The Grand Strategy to HUD in October 2015. The proposal seeks $233 million in federal funds matched by $320 million in direct and supporting leverage. HUD will announce competition awards in the first quarter of 2016, perhaps as early as January.

Infographic

The Grand Strategy Final Submission

Letters of Support

More Info from HUD