Update: What’s the big idea?

Due to inclement weather, the Feb. 22 launch party at Union High School has been canceled
City of Grand Rapids City Hall is the venue for the GRow 1000 youth professional development series. Grand Rapids Magazine file photo.

Due to inclement weather, the Community Master Plan Launch Party scheduled for Feb. 22 at Union High School has been canceled.

Those interested can still join the fun tomorrow by attending the Thursday, Feb. 23 Launch Party at Alger Middle School, 921 Alger St. SE. The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. To register for Thursday’s Launch Party, please visit: grandrapidsmi.gov/CMPUpdates.

What’s this all about?

Several City of Grand Rapids committees have partnered with Mayor Rosalynn Bliss to ask residents for big ideas to help shape the future of the city.

“Let your ideas help create the Grand Rapids our children and their children will live in,” Bliss stated in a press release promoting a series of upcoming events aimed at gathering information from community members. 

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids Magazine file photo. Photo by Kristen Norman

The City of Grand Rapids has contracted a nationally recognized municipal planning consultant, Planning NEXT, based in Columbus, Ohio to help create a Community Master Plan that reflects the community’s vision for the next 20 years. It will address land use issues like housing, transportation, critical infrastructure, zoning, neighborhood development and economic growth. Grand Rapids’ last plan was developed in 2002.

A 47-member master plan steering committee appointed by Bliss and consisting of individuals representing a wide and diverse cross-section of the city will help guide the process. 

“We’ve branded this the ‘Bridge to Our Future’ campaign because bridges are designed to unite—not divide—people,” Bliss said. “We want everyone to recognize the role we all play in uniting our present to our future. We’re asking all residents of Grand Rapids to please join together for our future by bringing your ideas to one of our launch events,” said Bliss referring to a series of parties to give residents a voice in helping shape the future of Grand Rapids for decades to come.

The collective goal of the three launch events is to gather perspectives and input from residents to help create a vision for the future. These free family-friendly events will provide dinner along with interactive activities.

New Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington, Photo courtesy of City of Austin, 2017.
New Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington, Photo courtesy of City of Austin, 2017.

City Manager Mark Washington is asking that people from all backgrounds and points of view plan to attend one of the events. “It is vital that we hear from a diverse and varied number of citizens as we work to build a long-range vision that will represent the most inclusive plan for moving Grand Rapids forward now and for future generations. The aim is to build a unified concept that will earn buy-in from all sectors of the community,” he said. Anyone can attend any session regardless of the ward in which they reside. Residents should choose to attend the event most convenient to them. Registration is not necessary, but will help ensure enough food and materials are at the events. 


The event details are as follows: The First Ward event is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 5-7 p.m. at Union High School, 1800 Tremont Blvd. NW.; The Second Ward event will take place Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 5-7 p.m. at Grand Rapids Public Schools University, 1400 Fuller Ave. NE.; The Third Ward event will be on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5-7 p.m. at  Alger Middle School, 921 Alger St. SE.

“We believe the people who choose to build a life in our city every day have the vision and the best ideas for what Grand Rapids should be like in the future,” said Bliss. “Whether we’re talking about housing, equity, mobility, environmental justice, economic development or just the overall look and feel of our neighborhoods, we think our residents know best. We look forward to hearing from them.”

To register, RSVP here. For those who can’t attend, more information about the Community Master Plan process can be accessed online after Feb. 15.






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