Reports & Studies

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. is deeply invested in discussing and understanding the issues and ideas that shape the future of Michigan's fastest growing city.

In that spirit DGRI regularly brings communities together for vital conversation, conducts original research and publishes data-driven reports all geared to enrich the civic dialogue, support well-reasoned decision-making and advance the local city building movement.

The listing below is DGRI's digital library of works. Additional resources will be added as they become available.

COVID-19 Reignition Reports

A detailed, month-over-month dive into Downtown vital signs during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as parking, foot traffic, business openings and closings, hotel vacancy, office vacancy, and many more.

Strategies for Retail Success (2021)

Mike Berne, a leading expert and futurist on urban business district dynamics, analyzed opportunities to strengthen the retail sector in Downtown Grand Rapids. Click here to view a video presentation of his findings.

Downtown Grand Rapids Wayfinding Study (2021)

A recommended redesign of the Downtown Wayfinding System to, among other things, help visitors more easily find destinations, guide motorists to parking spots and strengthen the identity of the district.

Safe Outdoor Dining Report (2020)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and health mandates compelling more outdoor commercial activities, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and the City of Grand Rapids established "Social Zones" to help promote the stability and recovery of the Downtown economy, with an emphasis on the hospitality industry that helps propel Downtown vibrancy and prosperity. This report summarizes the implementation and performance of the social zone program in 2020.

Downtown Grand Rapids Streetspace Guidelines (2019)

Everyone, at some point, is a pedestrian, whether they arrive downtown via car, transit, or bicycle. As we embark on building a 21st century city - a city for everyone - the pedestrian (and the pedestrian scale and experience) becomes critical in rethinking, redesigning, rebuilding, and re-balancing our largest public space: The streetspaces of our Downtown.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Annual Report (2018)

A summary of DGRI initiatives, partnerships and results in Fiscal Year 2018.

ArtPrize Sidewalk Traffic Report (2018)

DGRI manages several 'people counters' to understand how people walk, roll or otherwise move around Downtown. This report summarizes sidewalk activity during ArtPrize 10 (Sept. 19 - Oct. 7, 2018).

Grand Rapids Parklets Manual (Revised 2018)

A comprehensive overview of the goals, policies, processes, procedures and guidelines for establishing a parklet in Downtown GR.

Downtown Grand Rapids At A Glance (2018)

A quick snapshot of key data about Downtown's people, environment and economy.

Value of Downtown Grand Rapids (2018)

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. partnered with the International Downtown Association to develop a methodology for calculating the value of U.S. Downtowns and center cities. The report includes a profile of Downtown Grand Rapids.

Rose Center Fellowship Recommendations (2017)

A framework for modernizing local economic development tools to expand access to housing, transportation and jobs.

ArtPrize Sidewalk Traffic Report (2017)

DGRI manages several 'people counters' to understand how people walk, roll or otherwise move around Downtown. This report summarizes sidewalk activity during ArtPrize 9 (Sept. 20 - Oct. 8, 2017).

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Annual Report (2017)

A summary of DGRI initiatives, partnerships and results in Fiscal Year 2017.

Downtown Census (2016)

A survey of the Downtown residential and workforce population, including basic housing data.

Movies in the Park Event Performance Report (2016)

An overview of the audience demographics, economic activity and attendee satisfaction associated with the 2016 Movies in the Park series.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Annual Report (2016)

A summary of DGRI initiatives, partnerships and results in Fiscal Year 2016.

Movies in the Park Event Performance Report (2015)

An overview of the audience demographics, economic activity and attendee satisfaction associated with the 2015 Movies in the Park series.

Downtown Improvement District Briefing Guide (2015)

An informational brief on the Downtown Improvement District that details its purpose and boundaries, key service priorities as well as Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. The brief was developed to inform the conversation about renewing the tool in summer 2015.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Annual Report (2015)

A summary of DGRI initiatives, partnerships and results in Fiscal Year 2015.

Movies in the Park Event Performance Report (2014)

A report on the attendance figures, demographics and economic benefits of the 2014 Movies in the Park series.

Residential Market Potential Analysis (2014)

An evaluation of the potential for new market-rate rental and for-sale housing units in Downtown Grand Rapids.

Arena South Underground Parking Study (2014)

A study that determines the capacity, feasibility and projected costs associated with building an underground parking ramp in the area south of Van Andel Arena.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Annual Report (2014)

A summary of DGRI initiatives, partnerships and results in 2014.

Arena South Visioning Plan (2013)

A community-driven vision for guiding development in the Downtown area south of Van Andel Arena.

Downtown Grand Rapids Bike Brochure (2013)

A pamphlet geared for visitors that includes a map of Downtown bike lanes, places of interest, tips for safe riding and a list of local bike shops.

A Framework to Guide Future Planning and Investment (2011)

A community vision and priority-setting document that established a new framework for guiding DDA investment, decision-making and organizational structure.

Downtown Economic Development Districts Map (2008)

A map depicting the boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority, Downtown Improvement District, Renaissance Zones and other special districts.

Downtown Retail Report (2008)

Survey results and recommended actions to improve the Downtown retail climate based on direct outreach to dozens of Downtown businesses.

Residential Market Potential Analysis (2008)

An evaluation of the market potential for new market-rate housing in Downtown and the area of Mercy Health St. Mary's campus.

Monroe North Area Specific Plan (2007)

Recommendations for land use, circulation, parking, development character, infrastructure improvements in the Monroe North neighborhood.

Downtown Accessibility Audit (2006)

An audit of the Downtown area's compliance with the Americans for Disabilities Act guidelines, the Michigan Barrier Free Code and City Sidewalk Guidelines.

Voices & Vision Summary Report (1993)

Defines the community's aspirations, goals and strategies for development and growth in Downtown Grand Rapids.