Suzanne Schulz 03/21/2012

Suzanne Schulz 03/21/2012


>>GOOD AFTERNOON–
I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE. MY NAME IS RAY HINKLE. I’M AN INSTRUCTOR
IN THE ARCHITECTURAL DRAFTING– I SAID THAT WRONG, DIDN’T I? IT’S MECHANICAL AND ARCHITECTURAL
DESIGN DEPARTMENT. THINGS CHANGE, AND SOMETIMES
I HAVE TO CATCH UP, SO… UM… I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE
A FEW PEOPLE TODAY. UM, AARON TOLFORD,
WHO’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.G.B.C., BILL FRIEBURG, WHO’S THE VICE PRESIDENT
OF THE U.S.G.B.C. CHAPTER HERE ON CAMPUS,
WHO IS SPONSORING THIS EVENT. I’M GONNA M.C.
THE LITTLE PRESENTATION. UH, DAVE DYE, WHO’S DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN
OF THE ARCHITECTURAL DEPARTMENT ITSELF. RAISE YOUR HAND, DAVE,
SO WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. OKAY. AND CHARLOTTE PEASE, ONE OF THE OTHER
INSTRUCTORS IN THE DEPARTMENT, AND ALSO AN ARCHITECT
AS WELL. IS THERE ANYBODY ELSE
WHO I’VE MISSED? I GUESS NOT. UM, WHAT I’D LIKE TO DO FIRST, IS AARON’S GOING TO DO
HIS LITTLE SPIEL IN THIS PROCESS, SO I’M GONNA LET YOU GO, AARON. IT’S YOUR TURN. FIRST OFF, THANKS EVERYBODY
FOR COMING… AND AS RAY ALREADY SAID,
I’M AARON TOLFORD. I’M PRESIDENT
OF THE STUDENT CHAPTER HERE– THE U.S.G.B.C. STUDENT CHAPTER–
ORGANIZATION, I SHOULD SAY. ONCE AGAIN, WE’RE CHANGING THINGS
AND WE ARE AN ORGANIZATION AND NOT A CHAPTER. SO, UM, THANK YOU
ALL FOR COMING. UM… I’M JUST GOING TO GIVE A QUICK, BRIEF,
YOU KNOW, LOOK AT WHAT WE DO AND WHAT CAN– YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM–
BY BECOMING A MEMBER. UM, SO THE U.S.G.B.C.– OOP. ALL RIGHTY. U.S.G.B.C.– UNITED STATES
GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL– UM, STUDENT ORGANIZATION
OF GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE. THAT’S WHO WE ARE, AND
OUR MISSION IS TO EDUCATE STUDENTS OF THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY
IN SUSTAINABILITY DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES. UM, SO, WHO ARE THE U.S.G.B.C.
STUDENT MEMBERS? STUDENT MEMBERS ARE STUDENTS
FROM MANY DISCIPLINES– HEATING, VENTING,
AIR-CONDITIONING, H.V.A.C., ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING,
AND CONSTRUCTION– THAT COME TOGETHER TO LEARN ABOUT
AND ADVANCE U.S.G.B.C.’S MISSION TO TRANSFORM THE WAY BUILDINGS
AND COMMUNITIES ARE DESIGNED, BUILT, AND OPERATED. WHAT IS L.E.E.D.? L.E.E.D. IS AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED
GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES THIRD PARTY VERIFICATION
FOR A BUILDING OR A COMMUNITY. IT’S AIMED AT IMPROVING ENERGY SAVINGS,
WATER EFFICIENCY, CO2 EMISSIONS REDUCTION, IMPROVED INDOOR
ENVIRONMENT QUALITY, AND TO HELP US TO BE STEWARDSHIPS
OF RESOURCES AND SENSITIVITY
TO THEIR IMPACTS. WHAT IS THE L.E.E.D.
GREEN ASSOCIATE? THE L.E.E.D. GREEN ASSOCIATE IS CREATED BY THE GREEN BUILDING
CERTIFICATION INSTITUTE. UM, IT HAS CREATED THE GREEN ASSOCIATE
CREDENTIAL FOR PROFESSIONALS WHO WANT TO DEMONSTRATE
GREEN BUILDING EXPERTISE. BY BECOMING A MEMBER,
YOU ARE– YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BECOME
A GREEN ASSOCIATE PROFESSIONAL BY PARTAKING IN OUR GREEN ASSOCIATE
STUDY GROUPS. UM, OTHER ACTIVITIES
THAT WE PARTAKE IN ARE PRESENTATIONS OF PROFESSIONALS IN
ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING, CONSTRUCTION, ON DIFFERENT SUSTAINABLE TOPICS. ERIC HUGHES CAME IN, AND
HE’S AN AWARD-WINNING DESIGNER AND OWNER
OF IMPACT DESIGN, AND HE CAME IN AND TALKED ABOUT
SUSTAINABLE RESIDENTIAL HOMES. MARY BIGELOW, AN ENERGY
TECHNOLOGY INSTRUCTOR AND ENERGY CONSULTANT
AT CONTRACTORS BUILDING SUPPLY, CAME IN AND TALKED
ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY– ER, RENEWABLE ENERGY
ALTERNATIVES. IN ADDITION TO PRESENTATIONS,
WE ALSO TAKE TOURS OF FINISHED AND UNFINISHED BUILDINGS
PURSUING L.E.E.D. CERTIFICATION LIKE THE MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
SECCHIA CENTER HERE ON MICHIGAN STREET
IN GRAND RAPIDS. UM… NEXT… ALL RIGHT,
AM I TOO FAR AWAY? IN 2010, WE–
OUR ORGANIZATION WENT TO CHICAGO, AND WE ATTENDED THE “GREENBUILD 2010”
CONFERENCE– INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. THIS IS PUT ON BY THE UNITED STATES
GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL. ALSO, WHILE IN CHICAGO, WE WENT
ON AN ARCHITECTURAL TOUR. ALL RIGHT, SO BENEFITS
OF BECOMING A MEMBER– YOU WILL ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE
IN THE GREEN BUILDING MOVEMENT BY EXPANDING
YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK. YOU WILL HAVE INFLUENCE ON
THE ORGANIZATION’S ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT GREEN
CONSTRUCTION BUILDING PRACTICES, AND YOU WILL HAVE
THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A L.E.E.D. GREEN
ASSOCIATE PROFESSIONAL. SO, THAT’S ALL
THAT I HAVE FOR YA. ANY QUESTIONS? ALL RIGHTY? YUP, YUP?
>>(indistinct speaking).>>UM, $8 TO $10, ESSENTIALLY, AND–
(indistinct speaking)… …(indistinct speaking).>>OKAY–
THANKS, AARON. THAT’S A LITTLE NERVE-WRACKING. EVERY YEAR, WE TRY TO DO
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT BY ENTICING NEW MEMBERSHIP
IN THE U.S.G.B.C. AND SO, UM… IT’S ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE,
I THINK, FOR STUDENTS WHO TAKE ON THE ROLE
AS PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, BECAUSE THEY HAVE A BIG LOAD OF THINGS
THAT THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH IN THEIR OWN PERSONAL LINES, NOT ONLY FULL-TIME STUDENTS BUT ALSO
PROBABLY WORKING, AS WELL, FULL-TIME. SO, IT’S A TREMENDOUS EFFORT
ON THEIR PART TO DEAL WITH THIS STUFF, AND I UNDERSTAND IT
AND, UM… COMPLIMENT THEM
FOR THEIR EFFORTS. TODAY, WE HAVE THE HONOR
OF HAVING SUZANNE SCHULTZ, WHO’S THE DIRECTOR OF PLANNING
FOR THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS, AND I HAVE
A LITTLE BRIEF BIO ON HER, WHICH IS KIND OF IMPORTANT, I THINK,
BECAUSE IN THE PAST– IN THE FOUR YEARS– SHE’S DONE THIS BEFORE FOR US,
AND IT HAS– IT’S ONE OF THE– ONCE IT’S VIEWED ON GRCC T.V.–
QUITE A LOT– THE OLDER ONES. SO, THIS IS AN UPDATE
TO THAT PROCESS. AND WE HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO
COMMENTED ON IT, WHO REALLY LIKED IT. AND I’VE USED IT IN ALL MY CLASSES
AND COURSE STRUCTURE FOR STUDENTS TO GET AN IDEA
OF WHAT THESE ZONING AND PLANNING EFFORT IS INVOLVED
HERE IN THE COMMUNITY. AND THAT’S ESPECIALLY FOR
MY BUILDING CODES CLASSES– THAT WE DEAL WITH THAT, WHICH I COMBINE PLANNING
AS A PORTION OF THAT. BUILDING– LAND USE PLANNING
IS A KEY COMPONENT, I THINK, TODAY IN OUR EFFORTS. WE COULDN’T BUILD A BUILDING UNLESS THE LAND WAS SUITABLE
FOR US TO BUILD ON IT. SO, SUZANNE’S THE PERSON. SO, IF YOU NEED TO KNOW SOMEBODY,
THIS IS THE PERSON TO KNOW IN THE CITY.>>(Suzanne laughing)>>SUZANNE SCHULTZ
IS A SMART GROWTH ADVOCATE WHO BELIEVES
IN QUALITY URBAN CENTERS. OVER THE PAST 12 YEARS,
SUZANNE HAS HELPED SHIFT POLICIES AND LAND DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES
IN THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS TO CREATE A VIBRANT
AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY. SHE’S SERVED AS THE CITY’S PROJECT MANAGER
FOR ITS PROGRESSIVE MASTER PLAN, WHICH IS THAT FORM-BASED
ZONING ORDINANCE, AS ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN
MY CLASSES KNOW WHAT THAT’S ABOUT. RECENT PLAN UPDATES
TO THE “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS”… AND NOW, THE MICHIGAN STREET
CORRIDOR PLAN. SUZANNE ALSO OVERSEES
CITY DEVELOPMENT FUNCTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH
THE PLANNING COMMISSION, THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS,
AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION. SHE WAS APPOINTED
BY GOVERNOR GRANHOLM AS THE MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL
LEAGUE’S REPRESENTATIVE TO THE MICHIGAN
“COMPLETE STREETS ADVISORY COUNCIL,” OF WHICH SHE SERVES
AS CHAIRPERSON. PRIOR TO JOINING THE CITY, SUZANNE WORKED
FOR SEVEN YEARS IN THE CONSULTING FIELD, GAINING A DIVERSE BACKGROUND
IN RESEARCH, MASTER PLANS, ZONING ORDINANCES, AND
PARKS AND RECREATION PLANS. SHE GRADUATED WITH HONORS
FROM MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY IN URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING. AND AS A MEMBER OF THE MICHIGAN
ASSOCIATION OF PLANNING, AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION, AND
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PLANNERS– THAT’S WHAT THE A.I.C.P. STANDS FOR
AT THE END OF YOUR NAME– SHE ALSO SERVES THE BOARD
OF FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF WEST MICHIGAN. SO, I’M… I’M VERY HONORED TO HAVE HER HERE
AT THIS TIME, AGAIN, AND I’M PLEASED TO HAVE
AND INTRODUCE SUZANNE SCHULTZ. THANK YOU. (applause)>>AND IT’S A PLEASURE
TO BE HERE. I THINK WE HAVE TO PUT IT ON THE–
HOW DO I DO THAT? SO IT’S… GONNA CLICK WHEN I PUSH THE BUTTON?
(laughing)>>(indistinct speaking).
>>DO I NEED IT? WHILE WE’RE DOING THAT,
I JUST WANNA GIVE YOU A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF WHAT WE’RE GONNA
TALK ABOUT TODAY. I’M GOING TO COVER–
‘CAUSE SOME OF THE HISTORY OF PLANNING OF OVER THE PAST DECADE
THAT WE’VE DONE– I KNOW YOU’RE VERY FOCUSED
ON SUSTAINABILITY. AND REALLY, WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING
OVER THE PAST DECADE OR 12 YEARS HAS BEEN HIGHLY FOCUSED
AROUND SUSTAINABILITY AND NOT IN YOUR TYPICAL WAY. A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK AUTOMATICALLY,
“GREEN BUILDINGS,” BUT THERE’S A LOT MORE TO BUILDING
A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY THAN JUST THE BUILDING ITSELF. IT AFFECTS THE STREETS,
WHERE THE STRUCTURE SITS ON A LOT, HOW THE COMMUNITY IS ENGAGED,
AND WHAT THE LONGEVITY OF THAT IS, AS FAR AS COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
AND OWNERSHIP TO HELP TAKE THINGS AND IMPLEMENT THEM. IT’S NOT ALL CITY GOVERNMENT
DOING THIS WORK. THERE’S A LOT OF HEAVY LIFTING
THAT’S DONE BY THE COMMUNITY AND, UM, AND OUR PARTNERS,
AS WE GO FORWARD. SO, WHAT YOU’LL GET TODAY IS A PERSPECTIVE
FROM THE PLANNING SIDE OF THINGS, FROM THE CITY
OF GRAND RAPIDS, BUT A LOT OF THE WORK
THAT’S BEEN DONE HAS BEEN IN PARTNERSHIP
WITH OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS. UM, NONPROFITS–
LIKE “FRIENDS OF GRAND RAPIDS PARKS,” UH, “COMMUNITY LEADERS,”
UH, MAJOR INSTITUTIONS AND OTHERS TO REALLY KINDA CREATE
THIS ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE EXPECTATION
IS THAT WE’RE GOING TO DO HIGH QUALITY DESIGN
AS A COMMUNITY, THAT WE’RE GOING TO REALLY MAKE
EVERY EFFORT TO BE SUSTAINABLE– EVERYTHING FROM OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
TO THOSE BUILDINGS. SO, I’M REALLY GOING TO TALK
ABOUT THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND HOW THAT INTER-RELATES,
SOMEWHAT AFFECTS POLICY AS WELL AS ORDINANCES, TO GIVE YOU
A FEELING FOR KIND OF THE WORK THAT I’VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH OVER
THE PAST 12 YEARS– UNBELIEVABLE. TIME FLIES
WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN. THIS GIVES YOU
JUST KIND OF A LITTLE TIMELINE OF WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING. IN 2000 TO 2002,
WE DID A NEW MASTER PLAN. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME
IN 40 YEARS WHEN GRAND RAPIDS HAD ACTUALLY DONE
A CITYWIDE MASTER PLAN. WE HAVE A 1923 PLAN,
1963, AND THEN 2002,
WE ADOPTED A NEW MASTER PLAN. SO, A VERY INTERESTING
TIME PERIOD– THE ’23 PLAN
IS “CITY BEAUTIFUL” MOVEMENT– REALLY FOCUSED
ON MASS TRANSIT, AND THEN, YOU HAD 1963, A VERY
AUTO-ORIENTED AND URBAN RENEWAL. AND THEN, THE 19– ER, THE 2002 PLAN
IS MUCH MORE TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD. THEN, WE PROGRESSED TO DO
THE NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN WORKBOOK, WHICH I’LL TALK ABOUT
A LITTLE BIT. BASICALLY, IT BECAME THE DIALOGUE
WITH THE NEIGHBORHOODS ABOUT WHAT DOES– WHAT’S THE CHARACTER
OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE? SO THAT WE COULD THEN
TAKE THAT INFORMATION AND DEVELOP OUR FORM-BASED CODE
WITH IT. AND THEN, “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS,”
WE JUST RECENTLY UPDATED THAT, AND THAT ACTUALLY WAS AN AMENDMENT
TO OUR MASTER PLAN, SO WE UPDATED THREE THEMES
OF THE MASTER PLAN. I’LL TALK ABOUT THAT
AND PRESENT SOME OF THOSE FINDINGS. I WON’T COVER THE SUSTAINABILITY PLAN
TOO MUCH FOR THE CITY– THAT’S– IT’S A MORE
CITY-WIDE POLICY DOCUMENT THAT WE USE TO ACTUALLY
GUIDE DECISION-MAKING AT AN ORGANIZATION-WIDE LEVEL. INSTEAD OF HAVING
A THREE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN, OUR PLAN IS A SUSTAINABILITY PLAN AND IT’S BASED ON
THE THREE LEGS OF THE STOOL– ON ECONOMY, EQUITY,
AND ENVIRONMENT. WE’VE ALSO BEEN WORKING ON
A “COMPLETE STREETS” PLAN, WHICH IS AN IMPLEMENTATION MEASURE
OUT OF “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS.” I’LL TALK ABOUT THAT
A LITTLE BIT, AND THEN, IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT
MICHIGAN STREET CORRIDOR PLAN THAT’S JUST STARTING TO LAUNCH,
WE CAN DO THAT AS WELL. UM, I THINK MY BATTERY
MIGHT BE DYING. LET’S SEE HERE. SO, I MENTIONED
THE 1923 PLAN. THIS IS A PICTURE
FROM THAT PLAN, AND YOU SEE KIND OF
THIS VISION OF THE FUTURE. UH, WHEN WE DO MASTER PLANNING, YOU TRY TO LOOK AT
A 20-YEAR TIME HORIZON AND WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO SEE
THE CITY DEVELOP AS, AND HERE, YOU SEE A VERY DENSE URBAN CITY
WITH PARKS ALONG THE RIVERFRONT. YOU DON’T SEE
A WHOLE LOT OF CARS. YOU SEE SOME ON THE BRIDGES,
BUT KIND OF– YOU DON’T SEE A LOT
OF PARKING LOTS… UH, COMPARED TO
THE 1963 URBAN RENEWAL PLAN, LIKE I MENTIONED. KIND OF– “WE’RE GONNA
CREATE THESE PLAZAS “AND THESE HIGH-DENSITY BUILDINGS “AND THESE BIG SPACES
AROUND THEM,” AND A LOT OF THE DOWNTOWN,
ESPECIALLY VANDENBERG PLAZA– WHICH IS THIS AREA–
WAS LEVELED WITH– FROM THE STOREFRONTS
AND ALL THE MIXED USE WE HAD TO SINGLE-USE BUILDINGS, LIKE CITY HALL,
LIKE COUNTY BUILDING. THE–
WHOOPS, I’LL GO BACK. THAT– WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
PLANNING IN GENERAL, YOU KNOW, IT’S THAT TIME HORIZON, BUT IT ALSO
SETS A FRAMEWORK FOR DECISION-MAKING. “WHAT DO WE WANT THE CITY
TO LOOK LIKE? “WHO ARE THE PLAYERS THAT NEED
TO BE INVOLVED TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN? “WHAT ARE THE POLICIES THAT NEED
TO BE IN PLACE TO KIND OF LINE THAT UP? “AND HOW– WHERE DO WE HAVE CONSENSUS
AS TO WHERE THAT’S GONNA GO?” A GOOD EXAMPLE IS WE’VE HAD DEVELOPERS
COMING INTO THE COMMUNITY WHO WANT TO DEVELOP
IN A REALLY SUBURBAN STYLE– STRIP MALL WITH
THE PARKING LOT IN FRONT– AND BECAUSE OUR PUBLIC
ENGAGEMENT PROCESS WAS REALLY EXTENSIVE
WHEN WE DID THE MASTER PLAN AND WE TALKED ABOUT WHAT
WE WANT THE FUTURE TO BE, AND CITIZENS SAID, “WE WANT THIS
TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN. “WE WANT STOREFRONTS
UP AT THE SIDEWALK.” AND THAT EXPECTATION
WAS SET. WHEN THEY COME–
WHEN DEVELOPERS COME TO THE CITY, IF THEY’RE NOT FROM HERE, UM, THEY GET
THE SAME ANSWER EVERY PLACE THEY GO. THEY CAN GO TO
A CITY COMMISSIONER, THEY CAN GO TO
THE NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION, AND THEN SOMETIMES
THEY’LL COME TO ME– USUALLY IT’S IF THEY DON’T
LIKE MY ZONING ORDINANCE, THEY GO SHOPPING FIRST TO TEST THE WATERS,
AND THEN THEY’LL COME BACK… BUT THEY GET THE SAME ANSWER
WHEREVER THEY GO, BECAUSE EVERYBODY
HAS THIS SHARED VISION OF WHAT WE WANT
OUR COMMUNITY TO LOOK LIKE. AND THAT CONSISTENCY
HAS LONGEVITY TO IT. IT REALLY PROVIDES A GOOD FRAMEWORK
FOR DECISION-MAKING. EVEN IF YOUR POLICY LEADERS CHANGE,
IF YOUR CITY COMMISSION MEMBERS CHANGE, YOU STILL HAVE THIS COMMUNITY EXPECTATION
THAT’S BEEN BUILT IN– THAT THIS IS HOW WE DO THINGS
IN GRAND RAPIDS. UM, AND ALSO DEFINING
THOSE VARIOUS ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, AS I MENTIONED, THAT WE KNOW WHO SHOULD BE DOING WHAT,
WHEN, AND WHAT THOSE EXPECTATIONS ARE, AND REALLY SETS THAT POSITIONING
OF BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF– TAKE OPPORTUNITIES WHEN THEY COME,
IF THERE’S GRANT OPPORTUNITIES, WE CAN TALK ABOUT HOW
IT FITS IN WITH OUR PLAN AND THIS VISION
FOR THE FUTURE… AND THAT HAS
A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT. WHEN WE DID
THE FIX ON 196, AND WE CLOSED 196
TO COMPLETELY OVERHAUL IT, THE NEIGHBORHOOD–
THE BELKNAP NEIGHBORHOOD– RIGHT ACROSS FROM SPECTRUM HOSPITAL,
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEWAY, HAD DONE A PLANNING PROCESS, AND THEY HAD TALKED ABOUT
THE COIT STREET BRIDGE AND HOW IMPORTANT THAT BRIDGE WAS
AS A CONNECTOR TO MEDICAL MILE. AND SO, IN THEIR PLANNING, THEY HAD TALKED ABOUT MAKING SURE
THEY HAD BIG SIDEWALKS. SO, WHEN M.D.O.T.
CAME THROUGH AND SAID, “WELL, WE’RE GONNA BE RE-DOING
THIS BRIDGE,” WE WERE ABLE TO SAY,
“WELL, WE WANT BIG SIDEWALKS.” SO, WE GOT 12 FOOT-WIDE SIDEWALKS
AND 12 FOOT-WIDE TRAVEL LANES, AND THEY JOKE THAT IT’S THE BRIDGE
THAT THEY BUILT FOR PEDESTRIANS. BUT, UM– BUT REALLY, IT’S THIS IDEA
THAT THIS IS WHAT WE WANT AND WE CAN EXPRESS IT
AND DOCUMENT IT, AND THEN WHEN
THE OPPORTUNITY ARISES, THEN WE CAN–
WE HAD THAT JUSTIFICATION. IT’S NOT SOME RANDOM THOUGHT
THAT WE HAD THAT SOUNDED GOOD. SO, THERE’S SOME LOGIC TO IT. OUR MASTER PLAN IS BASED OFF
“SMART GROWTH” TENETS. AND WHEN YOU TALK
ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, THIS IS, TO ME,
ONE OF THE FOUNDATIONAL PIECES OF HOW YOU BUILD
A COMMUNITY. THERE’S TEN TENANTS, AND
THE WHOLE IDEA OF MIXING LAND USES, PROVIDING A VARIETY
OF TRANSPORTATION CHOICES, PROVIDING FOR A RANGE
OF INCOMES AND OPPORTUNITIES. UM, THE… FOCUSING TOWARDS EXISTING DEVELOPMENT
AND EXISTING COMMUNITIES. SO, WE ALREADY HAVE
ALL OF THESE ASSETS AS A COMMUNITY. WE’VE ALREADY INVESTED
IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE TRANSPORTATION,
THE WATER AND SEWER LINES. LET’S FOCUS IN ON THOSE AREAS
BEFORE WE GO AND SPEND MONEY FURTHER OUT INTO RURAL AREAS
AND CONSUME MORE LAND. WE ALSO LOOK AT,
YOU KNOW, “HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS
A STRONG SENSE OF PLACE?” SO, PLACE-MAKING AS A HUGE PIECE
OF WHAT WE DO WITH “SMART GROWTH” AND IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
IN GRAND RAPIDS. AND OF COURSE, YOU KNOW,
MAKING SURE THAT EVERYBODY’S INCLUDED AS MUCH AS WE CAN. THAT IDEA OF COLLABORATION
AND PARTNERSHIP IS HUGE. AND IF YOU TRAVEL
IN KIND OF CIRCLES IN THE OTHER COMMUNITIES
OR IN OTHER STATES– AND WE HAVE OTHER VISITORS
WHO COME TO GRAND RAPIDS– THEY ARE ASTOUNDED BY THE AMOUNT
OF COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS THAT HAPPEN HERE. THIS IS UNIQUE AND IT DOESN’T
HAPPEN EVERY PLACE, WHICH, YOU KNOW, FOR US,
IS SECOND NATURE THAT WE JUST WORK TOGETHER–
“IF I HAVE AN ISSUE, I KNOW WHO TO CALL.” BUT IN A LOT OF COMMUNITIES,
THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN. PEOPLE DON’T TALK WITH ONE ANOTHER,
THEY DON’T PROBLEM SOLVE TOGETHER. AND SO, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
HOW COME GRAND RAPIDS IS DIFFERENT THAN THE REST
OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN– WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS– “HOW COME GRAND RAPIDS HAS BEEN
MORE RESILIENT IN THIS ECONOMY “THAN OTHER COMMUNITIES?” A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE POINTING
TO THIS SENSE OF COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIP THAT WE HAVE,
THAT REALLY MAKES US STAND APART. SO MUCH SO
THAT THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO HAS IDENTIFIED GRAND RAPIDS
AS ONE OF THE LEADING COMMUNITIES IN THE MIDWEST TO WATCH,
SO IT’S PRETTY INTERESTING. OUR PLAN IS BASED OFF OF SEVEN THEMES–
“GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS” IS ONE OF THOSE. AND I’M JUST GONNA FLIP THROUGH,
BECAUSE THE BULLETS AT THE BOTTOM ARE BASICALLY A REITERATION
OF “SMART GROWTH” PRINCIPLES. SO, “GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS,”
“VITAL BUSINESS DISTRICTS,” THAT WE HAVE A MIX THE LAND USES
AND STRONG SENSE OF PLACE. “STRONG ECONOMY.” AND THE “STRONG ECONOMY”
IS VERY INTERESTING ‘CAUSE YOU’RE TRYING TO BALANCE
INSTITUTIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL GROWTH WITH NEIGHBORHOODS, AND KIND OF HOW DO YOU ALLOW
FOR THAT GROWTH TO HAPPEN AND KEEP THAT QUALITY OF LIFE
THAT YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN? “BALANCED TRANSPORTATION”– AGAIN,
THAT VARIETY OF TRANSPORTATION CHOICES CAME OUT STRONGLY WHENEVER
WE’VE DONE ANY PLANNING PROCESS. “A CITY THAT ENRICHES OUR LIVES,” SO THE “QUALITY OF LIFE” PIECE
IS VERY IMPORTANT. “A CITY IN BALANCE WITH NATURE,” AND
WHEN WE GET FURTHER INTO DEVELOPMENT, WE PARTICULARLY TALK
ABOUT STORM WATER AND “HOW DO YOU MANAGE
URBAN STORM WATER?” BECAUSE THAT IS A HUGE ISSUE,
AND IF YOU’RE INTO THE GREEN BUILDINGS– UM, YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT GREEN ROOFS
OR HOW YOU DO RAIN GARDENS, AND YOU DO THAT
STORM WATER MANAGEMENT, THAT’S A HUGE PIECE IN DEVELOPMENT
THAT WE HAVE TO CONTINUALLY ADDRESS, AND IT CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE
FOR DEVELOPERS. UH, AND “PARTNERSHIPS.” AGAIN, THAT THEME
OF WORKING TOGETHER. OUR FUTURE LAND USE MAP
IS OUR BASIS FOR DECISION-MAKING WHEN WE LOOK AT KIND OF WHAT
THE DEVELOPMENT PATTERNS OF THE CITY SHOULD BE. THE RED DOTS THAT YOU SEE
ON THE MAP, ACTUALLY, ARE TRANSIT-ORIENTED
DEVELOPMENT NODES, AND WE TOOK THE MAP FROM THE RAPID–
THEIR WHOLE BUS MAP– AND OVERLAID THAT
WITH OUR LAND USE MAP AND IDENTIFIED
KEY COMMERCIAL AREAS AND NODES, SO WE KNOW WHERE TO FOCUS
HEAVY DEVELOPMENT. IN PARTICULAR,
IF YOU LOOK AT DIVISION, WHERE THE NEW SILVER LINE
IS GOING TO COME– UH, THE BUS RAPID
TRANSIT SYSTEM. THE B.R.T. IS GOING TO BE
THE FIRST ONE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN,
UH, STARTING IN 2014, WHERE WE ACTUALLY HAVE
PHYSICAL BUILT STATIONS THAT YOU PAY BEFORE YOU BOARD,
UM, AND THE PLATFORMS ARE BUILT RIGHT UP TO WHERE
THE BUS WILL COME RIGHT UP, AND YOU CAN ROLL YOUR BIKE OR STROLLER
OR WHEELCHAIR RIGHT ONTO THE BUS. ALL THE DOORS OPEN AT ONCE. THE TYPICAL WAIT TIME
AT THE STATION IS 14 SECONDS, AND THEY’RE OFF. THEY HAVE DEDICATED LANES. SO, DIVISION RIGHT NOW
IS FOUR LANES, IN MANY LOCATIONS. AT PEAK,
IT’S GOING TO BE TWO LANES, AND THE OTHER TWO LANES
WILL BE DEDICATED TO BUS-ONLY TRAFFIC. SO, WE’RE GOING TO START DOING
SOME REALLY CRAZY STUFF PRETTY SOON. ONE THING THAT WAS A REALLY INTERESTING
IN DOING THIS MAP AND, SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ZONING ORDINANCE
IS THE AREAS AROUND THE RIVER– THE TURQUOISE AREAS
THAT YOU SEE AS “A” AND “B”– THOSE USED TO BE ALL INDUSTRIAL. THAT WE HAD THE HEAVY INDUSTRY,
YOU KNOW, TIED TO THE RIVER AND KINDA “THAT’S THE WAY IT WORKS.” SO, WHEN WE REDID
OUR ZONING ORDINANCE, WE ACTUALLY CHANGED 40 PERCENT OF THE LAND
THAT WE HAD ZONED FOR “INDUSTRIAL” TO “MIXED USE.” SO, THIS WHOLE CHANGE OF LAND USE
FROM INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING TO “MIXED USE” AND “OFFICE”
AND “RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT” THAT YOU’RE STARTING TO SEE, REALLY IS, YOU KNOW,
GUIDED BY SOME OF THE SHIFT WITH THE LAND USE
THAT WE ENVISIONED BUT ALSO DEVELOPMENT TRENDS
AND WHERE THE WHOLE MARKET IS HEADED. UM, THAT WORK
FROM THE MASTER PLAN RESULTED IN
THE “NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN WORKBOOK.” AND THE MASTER PLAN
WAS REALLY INTERESTING, ‘CAUSE WE HAD AN EXTENSIVE
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROCESS. WE INVOLVED OVER 3,000 CITIZENS
IN 250 MEETINGS. AND THEY CONTINUALLY TALKED ABOUT
THE CHARACTER OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, AND IT DIDN’T MATTER IF THEY LIVED
BY 28th STREET OR IN HERITAGE HILL, PEOPLE LIKED THE CHARACTER
OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD. WELL, IF I’M GONNA TRY
TO IMPLEMENT THEIR VISION FOR PRESERVING THE CHARACTER
OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, HOW DO I DO THAT? AND SO, WE SET OFF
TO KIND OF FIGURE OUT, “HOW DO WE– HOW DO WE
KINDA CAPTURE CHARACTER?” AND BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE IT
IN A WAY THAT I CAN THEN CODIFY IT AND REGULATE IT TO BE ABLE TO PRESERVE IT
OR ENHANCE IT. AND SO, THE “NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN BOOK”
WAS A WAY THAT WE LOOKED AT THE COMMUNITY
THROUGH YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT– “WHEN WERE THESE NEIGHBORHOODS BUILT?” AND WHAT WAS THE RANGE
THAT SEEMED TO FIT FROM– THEY WERE DISTINCT ENOUGH, WE COULD
CREATE DIFFERENT ZONE DISTRICTS OUT OF. AND WE ACTUALLY ENDED UP WITH
THREE DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOOD TYPES… AND IT BECAME A VERY– AND THAT’S THE FOUNDATION
OF OUR ZONING ORDINANCE. SO, IF YOU’VE ALREADY LOOKED
AT THE ZONING ORDINANCE, THAT’S REALLY
HOW IT HAPPENED. OUR STREET NETWORK– WE HAVE,
REALLY, THREE MAJOR STREET TYPES, BUT REALLY,
THE BIG TWO DISTINCTIONS, IF YOU LOOK AT PRE-WORLD WAR II
AND POST-WORLD WAR II– AND I CAN GO ON AND ON
ABOUT STREETS ALL DAY, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE’RE TALKING
ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY AND HEALTHCARE AND ALL THE THINGS THAT GO WRONG
WHEN YOU DON’T DO STREETS RIGHT. BUT BEFORE WORLD WAR II,
WE DEVELOPED IN A STREET-GRID PATTERN, AND TYPICAL STREET BLOCK LENGTHS
WERE 300 FEET– VERY PREDICTABLE,
VERY INTEGRATED. IT WAS A WHOLE NETWORK. AND AFTER WORLD WAR II, WE STARTED
TO KINDA SEPARATE OUR LAND USES APART, BUILD BIGGER ROADS,
HAVE THEM LESS CONNECTED, YOU SAW MORE CUL-DE-SACS, UM, TO THE POINT WHERE
A TYPICAL BLOCK LENGTH NOW– TO GET AROUND THE BLOCK–
COULD BE A HALF MILE OR A MILE. IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH
TOWNSHIP DEVELOPMENT, YOU KNOW, TOWNSHIPS ARE BUILT
ON THOSE MILE ROADS, YOU’LL TYPICALLY SEE
A SQUARE MILE, AND WITHIN THAT, YOU’LL HAVE CUL-DE-SACS
ALL COMING IN, OFF OF THAT, BUT ALL THE TRAFFIC
DUMPS ONTO ONE STREET. AND SO, WHEN YOU GET
FURTHER OUT OF THE CITY, YOU COULD CLOSE
THE S-CURVE DOWNTOWN, AND NOBODY REALLY KNEW
WHERE ALL THE TRAFFIC WENT BECAUSE IT COULD DISPERSE
INTO THE WHOLE GRID SYSTEM, BECAUSE THERE’S MULTIPLE WAYS
TO GO. BUT IF YOU DID THAT
TO THE EAST BELTLINE, YOU KNOW,
WHERE WOULD THE TRAFFIC GO? THERE’S NOT THAT
CONNECTIVITY, THERE’S NOT THAT VARIETY
OF CHOICE AND LOCATION, AND HOW TO GET THAT. UM, THAT HAS PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACTS,
ACTUALLY, BECAUSE YOU’RE FORCED
TO DRIVE IN THIS NEWER– THE NEWER STREET PATTERN, BECAUSE
YOU REALLY CAN’T CONNECT TO ANYTHING, YOU DON’T HAVE ANY WAY TO WALK
A BLOCK TO GET TO SOMETHING– YOU HAVE TO DRIVE
TO GET THERE. AND SO, ACTUALLY, IF YOU LIVE
IN THE MORE URBAN ENVIRONMENT WITH THE STREET-GRID, YOU’RE
SUPPOSED TO BE SEVEN POUNDS LESS. A LITTLE HAPPY TIP
FOR ALL OF YOU. UM, SEVEN POUNDS LESS ‘CAUSE YOU’RE
MORE LIKELY TO WALK IN A GRID SYSTEM THAN IN A SUBURBAN
ROAD SYSTEM. AND ACTUALLY, FATALITIES ARE LESS
WITH THAT STREET TYPE, ‘CAUSE YOUR TRAVEL SPEEDS
ARE LOWER, AND THERE’S JUST A LOT
OF DIFFERENT BENEFITS THAT YOU HAVE. FROM THE LAND USE PATTERN STANDPOINT,
THE SAME THING. THIS IS THE SAME SQUARE MILE, UH,
A TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD ON THE LEFT, AND THAT IS THE UPTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD
WITH FULTON, CHERRY, AND WEALTHY. AND THE OTHER PICTURE
ON THE RIGHT IS 44th STREET, AND YOU CAN SEE, AGAIN, THIS PATTERN OF WHAT WE USED TO DO
IS MIX THESE LAND USES– THE YELLOW IS RESIDENTIAL,
THE BROWN IS MULTI-FAMILY, THE RED IS COMMERCIAL,
THE BLUE IS OFFICE. AND SO, YOU CAN SEE HOW
VERY WALKABLE A QUARTER MILE– MAYBE TEN, FIFTEEN MINUTE WALK–
TO GET TO A SHOP OR A RESTAURANT IN MORE OF A TRADITIONAL PATTERN VERSUS IF YOU’RE OUT
ON 44th STREET OR FURTHER OUT– YOU’RE, AGAIN, WALKING A MILE
TO BE ABLE TO GO SOMEPLACE AND YOU MIGHT, IF YOU’RE LUCKY,
HAVE A SIDEWALK TO BE ON. YOU USUALLY DON’T SEE SIDEWALKS
IN THE MORE NEWER FORMS OF DEVELOPMENT, AND BECAUSE ALL THE TRAFFIC
POURS ONTO ONE CENTRAL STREET, YOUR TRAFFIC VOLUMES
ARE EXPONENTIALLY HIGHER. UH, INSTEAD OF MAYBE
10,000 CARS ON THE STREET– WHICH IS STILL A BUSY STREET
IN THE CITY– YOU MIGHT SEE 25,000 CARS
ON THE STREET. AND THEN, YOU NEED A BIGGER STREET
AND THEN YOU’RE NOT COMFORTABLE AS A PEDESTRIAN
BEING OUT THERE, SO YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO BE
OUT AND ABOUT WALKING. UH, RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT– WHAT WE LOOKED AT WAS KINDA
BUILDING PLACEMENT AND SETBACK AND THE CHARACTER
OF THAT DEVELOPMENT. SO, DOES IT HAVE PORCHES? WHERE’S THE GARAGE? THE GARAGE WAS A BIG ISSUE FOR US,
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, THE MODERN– YOU MIGHT SEE THE GARAGE
AT THE FRONT IN THE HOUSE, AND IN TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOODS,
THE GARAGE IS IN THE BACK OF THE HOUSE. AND SO, HOW DO WE REGULATE PARKING
AND WHERE DOES ALL OF THAT FIT? SAME THING WITH
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT… TRADITIONAL STOREFRONTS, UM, VERSUS THE WALMART
WITH A HUGE PARKING LOT TO GET TO. ONE OF OUR VERY–
TO ME, IT WAS VERY INTERESTING LEARNING, WHEN WE ENGAGED DISABILITY ADVOCATES
OF KENT COUNTY, THE PERCEPTION THAT PEOPLE
WHO ARE SIGHT-IMPAIRED ON THE DIFFERENCES IN THESE TYPES
OF BUILT ENVIRONMENTS. BECAUSE IF YOU’RE PHYS–
IF YOU HAVE SIGHT OR PHYSICAL ISSUES AND YOU CAN’T NECESSARILY GET
AROUND AS EASY AS OTHER PEOPLE, KNOWING WHERE THE BLOCK ENDS
AND KNOWING WHERE THE FR– YOU CAN FIND
THE FRONT DOOR. SO, IF THE STORE FRONT IS AT THE SIDEWALK
AND YOU HAVE A RECESS ENTRY, YOU CAN FIND
THE FRONT DOOR. IF YOU’RE DROPPED OFF BY THE BUS
ON THE STREET SIDE AT 28th STREET AND YOU’RE TRYING TO FIND
THE FRONT DOOR OF THE BIG BOX, AND YOU HAVE TO NAVIGATE
A SEA OF PARKING, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO FEEL AS SAFE
AND YOU’RE MORE LIKELY GET HIT BY A CAR AND IT’S A TOTALLY
DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE. SO, PART OF THE DISCUSSION WAS,
YOU KNOW, DO YOU WANT THE BUILDINGS AT THE BACK OF THE LOT? HOW DO WE WANT
OUR STREETS TO LOOK? AND AGAIN,
FROM A SUSTAINABILITY STANDPOINT, THE MORE VEHICLE TRIPS WE CAN REDUCE,
SO PEOPLE ARE WALKING– ‘CAUSE YOU HAVE THE CONVENIENCE
OF MIXED USE… THE MORE DENSE WE CAN MAKE IT,
SO AGAIN, YOU HAVE A CONCENTRATION
OF PEOPLE LIVING, WHICH HELPS SUPPORT YOUR BUSINESSES
AND HELPS THEM MAKE TRANSIT VIABLE. ALL OF THESE THINGS
ARE INTERRELATED. SO, JUST REALLY QUICKLY, YOU KNOW,
“WHERE DO YOU PLACE THE BUILDING?” YOU KNOW,
“HOW DO YOU TREAT THE STREET?” “HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS
A PLACE “WHERE PEOPLE WANNA BE
AND LIVE AND ENJOY COMMERCE?” AND SO, YOU CAN KINDA FILL IN
ALL THOSE VOIDS AS YOU GO THROUGH, AND NOW YOU’VE CREATED
A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLACE. SO, WHEN WE DID THE PATTERN BOOK,
THAT WAS REALLY THE VISION THAT WAS SET FORTH
BY THE COMMUNITY, AND THAT RESULTED
IN THE ZONING ORDINANCE. AND SO, WE TOOK THAT FOUNDATION
OF “SMART GROWTH” AND BROUGHT THAT
INTO THE ZONING CODES. SO, HOW DO WE PROVIDE FOR THAT RANGE
OF INCOMES, SO PEOPLE HAVE CHOICES? HOW DO WE PROVIDE FOR A RANGE
OF TRANSPORTATION TYPES? SO, IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CAR, WHICH
A THIRD OF THE POPULATION DOESN’T DRIVE– INTERESTING LITTLE TIDBIT–
TOO OLD, TOO YOUNG, DISABLED, BY CHOICE, BY LEGAL REASONS,
UH, YOU CAN’T DRIVE– A THIRD OF THE POPULATION. AND WHAT’S INTERESTING
IS THAT WHEN SENIORS ARE SURVEYED ABOUT THEIR BIGGEST FEARS–
SENIOR CITIZENS– THE A.A.R.P.
HAS DONE A SURVEY– IT’S NOT DYING THAT
THEY’RE MOST AFRAID OF. IT’S THE LOSS
OF THEIR CAR KEYS. THAT YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE AWAY
THEIR MOBILITY, THEIR– THAT THEY CANNOT CONNECT
TO THE COMMUNITY, THEY’RE STRANDED AT HOME,
THEY CAN’T DRIVE. SO, YOU KNOW, HOW DO YOU PROVIDE FOR
THIS RANGE OF TRANSPORTATION TYPES? HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT
YOU’RE BEING ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND AND MANAGING STORM WATER
IN A WAY. SO, THOSE ARE THE FOUNDATIONS
OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE. AND THEN, WE ALSO FOLLOWED
L.E.E.D.-N.D.– “L.E.E.D. FOR NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT,”
WHICH I’LL TALK ABOUT– THE TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
I ALREADY MENTIONED, WITH THE RED NODES AND THAT CORRESPONDS
WITH THE RAPID’S MASTER PLAN. AND THEN, WE ALSO USE CRIME PREVENTION
THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN, THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY CREATE
PHYSICAL SPACES WHERE YOU AUTOMATICALLY
ARE DETERRING CRIME JUST BY THE WAY YOU BUILD THE BUILDING,
OR YOU PLACE THE BUILDING… OR HOW YOU DEFINE
THOSE EDGES. L.E.E.D. FOR N.D.– WE MENTIONED
THE U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL EARLIER– IT WAS DEVELOPED IN PARTNERSHIP
WITH THE U.S.G.B.C. AS WELL AS THE CONGRESS
FOR THE NEW URBANISM AND THE NATURAL RESOURCE
DEFENSE COUNCIL. AND REALLY, THE IDEA IS THAT
YOU CAN HAVE A GREEN BUILDING BUT YOU COULD ALSO PUT THAT GREEN BUILDING
IN THE MIDDLE OF A CORN FIELD… AND HOW GREEN
IS THAT BUILDING, REALLY? I MEAN, IF YOU HAVE TO DRIVE THERE,
IF YOU CAN’T GET THERE BY TRANSIT, IF IT’S NOT INTEGRATED
INTO SOMETHING ELSE, WHAT’S THE CONTEXT THAT YOU’RE
PUTTING THIS GREEN BUILDING IN? AND SO, L.E.E.D.-N.D. WAS KIND
OF THAT REALITY CHECK FOR “WHERE YOU PUT THIS STUFF,
MATTERS.” AND SO, WHAT WE DID IS WE ACTUALLY
TOOK THE L.E.E.D.-N.D. CHECKLIST WHEN IT WAS IN PILOT PHASE, MEASURED THAT AGAINST WHAT
OUR PROPOSED ZONING REGULATIONS WERE, AND FOUND THAT
IF YOU JUST FOLLOW THE ZONING CODE IN THE TRADITIONAL
NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN, YOU COULD AUTOMATICALLY
MEET THE THRESHOLD FOR L.E.E.D.-N.D. CERTIFICATION. SO, WE WANTED TO TRY
TO MAKE IT VERY EASY FOR PEOPLE TO GET ACCREDITED
THROUGH L.E.E.D.-N.D. AND L.E.E.D.-N.D. REALLY LOOKS
AT SMART LOCATION AND LINKAGE. SO AGAIN, THAT IDEA
OF TRANSPORTATION MODES, WHAT ARE THOSE PLACES
THAT YOU’RE BUILDING? NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN
AND DESIGN– SO YOU CAN SEE HOW THAT
NEIGHBORHOOD PATTERN BOOK THEN TRANSLATES RIGHT INTO
SOME OF THE CRITERIA THAT THEY HAVE
FOR L.E.E.D.-N.D., AND THEN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
AND BUILDINGS. AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE A NUMBER
OF THINGS IN OUR ZONING ORDINANCE THAT ACCOMPLISHES A LOT
OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE COMPONENTS. I’LL MENTION THE FUTURE
LAND USE MAP AGAIN, ‘CAUSE WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT
SMART LOCATION AND LINKAGE, AGAIN, HOW ARE WE CONNECTING
AND CREATING THESE NODES AND MAKING SURE THAT WE ARE
MAINTAINING A STREET-GRID SYSTEM, SO THAT YOU HAVE
THOSE CONNECTIONS? FOR DESIGN, WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT WALKABILITY AND ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO WALK
AND GET OUT OF THEIR CARS– WHEN YOU LOOK AT BUILDINGS LIKE THIS
AND THERE’S NO WINDOWS, HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU, REALLY,
WALKING BY THAT SPACE VERSUS A NEWER BUILDING
THAT HAS GREAT WINDOWS IN IT. I MENTIONED CRIME PREVENTION
THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN EARLIER, AND THERE’S THIS WHOLE THEORY
WITH SUBT– ONE OF THE KEY PRINCIPLES
IS SURVEILLANCE. AND WHAT 7-ELEVEN FOUND, WHEN THEY
KEPT GETTING HELD UP AS A PARTY STORE, IS THAT IF YOU HAVE
CLEAR GLASS WINDOWS AND YOU FEEL LIKE
YOU MIGHT BE WATCHED– SOMEBODY COULD SEE YOU
INSIDE THE STORE OR YOU COULD LOOK OUT IN THE PARKING LOT
AND SOMEBODY COULD SEE YOU, IT’S A NATURAL
CRIME DETERRENT. AND SO, WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THE NEW
DEVELOPMENT HAPPENING IN GRAND RAPIDS, BE IT THE WALGREENS
AT MICHIGAN AND FULLER OR MISS TRACY’S
ON FRANKLIN STREET OR WE’RE GONNA HAVE ANOTHER
WALGREENS OVER ON LEONARD, YOU’LL SEE THAT WE REQUIRE
60 PERCENT TRANSPARENCY– THAT WE HAVE LOTS OF GLASS
ON THESE BUILDINGS. UM, BECAUSE IT’S JUST
A NATURAL DETERRENT FOR CRIME, BUT I ALSO CREATES A MUCH MORE
WALKABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR PEDESTRIANS. IF YOU LOOK AT A SHOPPING MALL,
FOR EXAMPLE– IF YOU’RE AT WOODLAND MALL AND
YOU’RE WALKING FROM SEARS TO PENNEY’S, IMAGINE IF HALF OF THOSE STORE FRONTS
WERE ALL BOARDED UP. WOULD YOU REALLY WALK
FROM SEARS TO PENNEY’S OR WOULD YOU GO TO YOUR CAR AND
DRIVE AROUND TO GO TO THE NEXT LOCATION? YOU PROBABLY WOULD DRIVE. SO, THE SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES
TO URBAN ENVIRONMENTS AND TRYING TO KEEP THOSE–
THE CONTINUITY OF THE STORE FRONTS, THE STREET WALL,
SO PEOPLE ARE COMFORTABLE WALKING. AGAIN, I MENTIONED
THAT HIGH DENSITY HOUSING AND MIXED USE, AND WE’VE HAD
A NUMBER OF EXAMPLES– THIS IS NEWBERRY PLACE
ON THE LOWER RIGHT-HAND SIDE. THAT’S IN THE BELKNAP NEIGHBORHOOD. THAT’S A NEW CO-HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT. ACTUALLY, IT’S ALMOST
THREE YEARS OLD NOW. WE HAVE LIVE-WORK UNITS. UH, THE ONE AT THE TOP IS AT THE CORNER
OF DIAMOND AND WEALTHY, RIGHT BEHIND THE MEANWHILE,
IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH WHERE THAT IS. AND THEN, YOU ALSO HAVE EXAMPLES
WITH THE ROUNDABOUT IN THE LOWER RIGHT-HAND CORNER
AND SAINT MARY’S. UM, HOPE LODGE FOR PEOPLE
WHO ARE DEALING WITH CANCER. SO, WE’RE SEEING KIND OF
THAT PATTERN NOW DEVELOPING. IT’S BEEN REALLY FUN TO HAVE
THE ZONING ORDINANCE ADOPTED AND, FIVE YEARS LATER, STARTING
TO SEE ALL THE BUILDINGS COMING IN THAT ARE NOW
MEETING THE CODE. WE ALSO HAVE A NEW SUBWAY
BEING BUILT ON SOUTH DIVISION AND A NEW SUBWAY
BEING BUILT ON WEST FULTON, UM, WHERE THEY’RE STARTING
TO PUT ‘EM AT THE STREET. THE RYLEE’S ACE HARDWARE
ON MICHIGAN. UM, I MENTIONED
THE WALGREENS. SO, YOU’RE STARTING TO SEE
HOW THIS PATTERN’S STARTING TO DEVELOP, AND AS PROJECTS COME IN–
AND BIG-BOX STORES, IF THEY REALLY WANT TO BE THERE,
THEY WILL COMPLY. YOU KNOW, AND THEY’RE
FIGURING OUT NEW MODELS. ACTUALLY, THE NEW STORE
THAT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE– WALGREENS ON LEONARD– THEY’RE SAYING IS A NEW PROTOTYPE
FOR WALGREENS TO TRY TO MEET ZONING ORDINANCES
SIMILAR TO OURS. SO, WE’RE THE FIRST ONE, SO I–
WE THOUGHT THAT WAS KIND OF COOL. UM, WAYS IN WHICH WE’VE KIND
OF TRIED TO IMPERVIOUS SURFACE, TO BE MORE GREEN, UM–
PARKING IS A HUGE ISSUE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE TALKING, YOU KNOW,
THESE SEAS OF ASPHALT AND PARKING LOTS. AND HOW DO YOU KIND OF
INCENTIVIZE LESS PARKING? OR YOU KNOW, YOU DON’T HAVE THEM
PLANNED FOR CHRISTMAS PEAK, YOU KNOW, TWICE A YEAR? AND THE REST THE TIME,
HALF THE PARKING LOT’S EMPTY. SO, OUR ZONING ORDINANCE ACTUALLY
HAS A MAXIMUM PARKING REQUIREMENT. WE TYPICALLY END UP
WAIVING IT. THE PLANNING COMMISSION HASN’T QUITE
GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE, YOU KNOW– MOST PEOPLE, WE FIND– THEY’RE PROVIDING
THE PARKING THEY THINK THEY NEED, BUT THEY’RE ALSO NOT
BEING OVERLY AGGRESSIVE IN HOW MUCH PARKING
THEY WANT TO PROVIDE. THE PARKING STANDARDS,
WE SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED. IN SOME CASES, WE HALVED THEM
FROM THE FORMER ZONING CODE, WHICH WAS DONE IN 1969. THE 1969 ZONING ORDINANCE
REQUIRED THAT YOU HAD FIVE PARKING SPACES
PER THOUSAND SQUARE FEET. UM, IN THE NEW ZONING CODE,
IF YOU’RE IN THE TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD, IT’S TWO AND A HALF PARKING SPACES
PER THOUSAND. IN THE MORE SUBURBAN PARTS
OF THE CITY, LIKE ALONG 28th STREET, IT’S THREE AND A THIRD. AND JUST TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA
OF THE SENSE OF AN IMPACT THAT LITTLE CHANGE CAN HAVE, UM,
WHEN MEIJER RE-DEVELOPED THEIR STORE AT 28th AND KALAMAZOO– AND THEY TORE DOWN AND THEY
BUILT THE BRAND NEW BUILDING– HAD THEY NEEDED– HAD THEY NEEDED
TO MEET THE OLD PARKING REQUIREMENTS OF FIVE SPACES
PER THOUSAND, THEY WOULD HAVE HAD NEEDED TO PROVIDE
300 MORE PARKING SPACES ON THAT SITE. BUT THEY’RE DOING JUST FINE
WITH THE PARKING SPACES THEY’VE GOT, AND THEY ENHANCED THE TRANSIT STOP
ON THE LOCATION WITH A FULL SHELTER
THAT’S HEATED AND EVERYTHING ELSE. SO, IT’S TRYING TO GET THIS MODE SHIFT
BY KINDA REDUCING THE PARKING, PROVIDING OTHER MODES. THEY PUT A SIDEWALK IN
ALL AROUND THE FRONT, WE MAKE SURE THAT THE SIDEWALK
GOES TO THE FRONT OF THE STORE, THAT THERE’S SOME
CONNECTION THERE. UM, SO, YOU’RE TALKING
300 PARKING SPACES. THAT’S HUGE. AND YOU START TALKING
ABOUT HEAT ISLAND EFFECT, AND IF YOU DON’T HAVE LANDSCAPING
TO COOL THE ASPHALT, AND IT STARTS TO RAISE
THE URBAN TEMPERATURE UP A BIT. THERE’S ALL THESE “EVILS” OF PARKING,
BUT IT’S ALSO THIS EVIL NECESSARY THING THAT WE HAVEN’T QUITE TRANSITIONED
TO BE COMPLETELY MASS TRANSIT-ORIENTED. WE ALSO REQUIRE BIKE PARKING
AS PART OF THIS. I ALSO HAVE THE ABILITY,
AS THE PLANNING DIRECTOR, TO WAIVE PARKING. AND THE AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION
ACTUALLY USES OUR ORDINANCE AS AN EXAMPLE
OF THE DIFFERENT THINGS YOU CAN DO. BUT I CAN REDUCE PARKING
REQUIREMENTS BY HALF, IF THERE’S TRANSIT NEARBY,
IF THERE’S SHARED PARKING, IF THEY PROVIDE ADDITIONAL
BICYCLE PARKING. UM, ON STREET PARKING–
I MEAN, IF THERE’S DIFFERENT WAYS THAT PEOPLE CAN PROVIDE PARKING,
IN DIFFERENT METHODS, WE CAN CERTAINLY REDUCE
THOSE REQUIREMENTS, AND WE’RE VERY FLEXIBLE
ABOUT THAT. AND THAT’S A BIG PARADIGM SHIFT
FOR A COMMUNITY TO GO THROUGH, BECAUSE FOR YEARS, RETAILERS
WERE TIED TO THIS PARKING RATIO AND HOW MUCH PARKING HAD TO BE PROVIDED
AND SO WERE COMMUNITY LEADERS, THAT, YOU KNOW,
“WE HAVE TO PROVIDE THIS MUCH.” AND YOU MAY HAVE FOLLOWED
THE RECENT DEBATE ON CHERRY STREET ABOUT– THERE’S A NEW SUSHI
RESTAURANT GOING IN AND THEY HAVE NO PARKING
THAT’S BEING PROVIDED… AND THEY’RE PROVIDING
75 MORE SEATS AND PARKING IS ALREADY STARTING
TO GET A LITTLE CONGESTED, AND “SHOULD THERE BE METERED PARKING
ON THE STREET?” AND, “THERE’S NO MUNICIPAL LOT.” AND, “SHOULD WE BUILD
A MUNICIPAL LOT?” WHICH THE ANSWER’S
GONNA BE “NO.” BUT YOU WANT A HEALTHY,
VIBRANT COMMUNITY, AND HAVING PEOPLE WALK A BLOCK OR TWO
ISN’T GONNA KILL ‘EM. UM, BUT YOU GOTTA MAKE SURE,
AT THE SAME TIME, YOU’RE BUILDING A VERY
WALKABLE ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY’RE COMFORTABLE
DOING IT. IF YOU GO TO DOWNTOWN CHICAGO,
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, YOU’VE WALKED TWO MILES BECAUSE
IT’S A REALLY ENGAGING ENVIRONMENT. HOW DO YOU CREATE THAT ENVIRONMENT
IN A CITY THE SIZE OF GRAND RAPIDS, IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD
BUSINESS DISTRICT? SO YOU CAN WALK
THREE OR FOUR BLOCKS AND NOT FEEL LIKE IT TOOK FOREVER
TO GET TO THE OTHER HAND? SO, ALL OF THIS STUFF
TIES TOGETHER. I MENTIONED THAT THE BIKE PARKING
THAT WE REQUIRE– WE ALSO REQUIRE–
WHOOPS! OH, THIS IS COOL. I CAN SWITCH BACK AND FORTH
WITH THE ROLLER! UM, THE–
(audience laughing) THE OTHER PIECES–
AND THIS– YOU’LL SEE THIS MORE AT MICHIGAN
AND FULLER WALGREENS HAS IT, TOO– BUT THE CONNECTION
OF THE SIDEWALKS. I MENTIONED PEOPLE WHO ARE SIGHT-IMPAIRED,
IF THEY CAN’T FIND THE FRONT DOOR. SO, HOW DO YOU PROVIDE THAT PATH FOR THEM
TO BE ABLE TO SAFELY CROSS A PARKING LOT? SO, WE REQUIRE
THAT ALL THE CONNECTIONS, EVEN IF THE BUILDING’S
NOT RIGHT AT THE STREET, YOU HAVE THOSE CONNECTIONS
TO THE PUBLIC WAY, AND THAT IT’S LOGICAL AND IT FITS
AND IT’S CONVENIENT FOR PEOPLE. SEE, NOW I KNOW THIS EVIL
AND I’M NOT GONNA– UH, GREEN REQUIREMENTS… WE HAVE REQUIRED POROUS PA–
WE ALLOW POROUS PAVEMENT FOR GREEN SPACE REDUCTIONS. WE TOOK A DIFFERENT APPROACH
WHEN WE DID THE ZONING CODE, AND, UM, TYPICAL CODES
WILL SAY– THEY’LL HAVE
AN “IMPERVIOUS SURFACE REQUIREMENT.” WELL, IMPERVIOUS SURFACES, NOW–
YOU CAN HAVE POROUS ASPHALT, YOU CAN HAVE POROUS CONCRETE,
BUT IT’S NOT REALLY GREEN. I MEAN, IT MANAGES STORM WATER
BUT IT’S NOT NECESSARILY GREEN. SO, WHAT WE DID
TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO CHANGE HOW THEY MANAGED
THEIR STORM WATER IS WE ACTUALLY PUT
A “GREEN SPACE REQUIREMENT” IN THERE– NOT TOO AGGRESSIVE TO THE POINT WHERE
PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO TEAR DOWN THE BUILDING NEXT DOOR
TO PROVIDE LAWN, BUT ENOUGH WHERE YOU CAN
HAVE THOSE REQUIREMENTS IF YOU’RE PROVIDING POROUS ASPHALT
OR CONCRETE, IF YOU DO A GREEN ROOF… WE EVEN ALLOW, IF YOU WANT
TO CONTRIBUTE TO, UM, THE… THE KENT COUNTY BIO– I’M TRYING
TO THINK OF THE LAST NAME OF IT. IT’S THE PLANT THAT WE HAVE THAT ACTUALLY
TAKES BIOSOLIDS AND RE-PURPOSES ‘EM– UM, IT’S FROM THE SEWAGE
TREATMENT PLANT. THEY DRY IT OUT, THEY CAN USE IT
AS FERTILIZER ON FARM LAND, AND THEY ACTUALLY BUY EASEMENTS
ON FARMLAND TO BE ABLE TO DISPOSE
OF THE BIOSOLIDS. AND SO, WE ALLOW CONTRIBUTIONS
INTO THAT TO HELP FUND THE ACQUISITION
OF EASEMENTS ON FARMLAND, AND YOU CAN GET
SOME CREDITS THROUGH THAT. OTHER REQUIREMENTS– WE REQUIRE
TREE PLANTINGS AND STREET TREES. UM, NON-INVASIVE SPECIES ARE– ER, INVASIVE SPECIES
ARE NOT ALLOWED AND WE TRY TO KEEP
A BIODIVERSITY OF PLANT TYPES. UM, GRAND RAPIDS HAS ALMOST
HALF OF THE STREET TREES IN MAPLE TREES. SO, IMAGINE IF WE HAVE A BUG
THAT INFESTS ALL THE MAPLE TREES AND WE HAVE TO LOSE THOSE. UM, IT’LL MAKE THE EMERALD ASH BORER
LOOK LIKE A SMALL DEAL. EMERALD ASH BORER TAKES ABOUT 14 PERCENT
OF OUR STREET TREES AND PARK TREES– OUR ASH TREES RIGHT NOW, AND THEY’LL
BE AFFECTED BY THE EMERALD ASH BORER. UM, MAPLE TREES–
IF YOU HAVE HALF OF ‘EM. SO, WE WANNA TRY TO CREATE
MORE BIODIVERSITY IN THE STUFF
THAT WE HAVE. FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY,
WE ALLOW RENEWABLE ENERGY, WE ALLOW SOLAR PANELS,
WE ALLOW THE SMALLER WIND TURBINES. UH, WE LOOKED FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO ALLOW
LARGER WIND FACILITIES IN THIS CITY, PREDOMINANTLY
IN INDUSTRIAL AREAS. THERE’S A LOT OF CONSIDERATIONS
THAT YOU HAVE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT
THOSE LARGER FACILITIES– EVERYTHING FROM WIND FLICKER TO NOISE
TO “HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT,” BUT WE HAVE OPENED UP
THAT OPPORTUNITY IN OUR ZONING CODES, SO THAT WE CAN DO
MORE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. UM, I WANTED TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT
WE’VE BEEN DOING IN “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS,” BECAUSE THIS WAS AN UPDATE
TO THE MASTER PLAN. I MENTIONED
THE THREE THEMES– ER, YOU SAW
THE SEVEN THEMES, BUT THE THREE THEMES
THAT WE FOCUSED ON HEAVILY IN “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS”
WAS “BALANCED TRANSPORTATION,” “A CITY THAT ENRICHES OUR LIVES,”
RELATED TO QUALITY OF LIFE, AND “A CITY IN BALANCE WITH NATURE,”
RELATED TO NATURAL FEATURES. AND A LOT OF THIS PLANNING
THAT HAPPENED, UM, STARTING IN 2007, WAS A RESULT OF A NUMBER
OF DIFFERENT PRESSURES. THE CITY HAS HISTORICALLY
HAD A PARTNERSHIP WITH GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
THAT ALLOWED US TO SHARE FACILITIES AS “JOINT USE OF FACILITIES”
AGREEMENT. G.R.P.S, AS THEY HAVE
BEEN DOWNSIZING, HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DISPOSE
OF THEIR PROPERTIES. WELL, IN MOST OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS,
THE PARK LAND IS OWNED BY THE SCHOOL. TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF OUR PARK LAND
IS ACTUALLY UNDER G.R.P.S. OWNERSHIP. UM, AS THEY DISPOSE
OF THAT PROPERTY, THAT SUBSTANTIALLY AFFECTS
THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS. SO, YOU MAY HAVE HEARD
OF THIS PARTNERSHIP THAT THE CITY HAS BEEN DOING
WITH OJIBWE DEVELOPMENT FOR EASTERN
AND LEXINGTON SCHOOLS. OAKDALE HAD AN INTERESTING TWIST TO IT, BUT WE ARE EVEN WORKING WITH
THE CHARTER SCHOOL AT OAKDALE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE PRESERVING
AN ACRE OF LAND AS PUBLIC PARK, AND THEY’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO BE
DONATING THAT LAND TO THE CITY, SO THEN IT’S IN PUBLIC OWNERSHIP,
WHICH IS GREAT. AND I MENTIONED
THE EMERALD ASH BORER– WE WERE GETTING A TON OF REQUESTS
FOR BIKE LANES. UM, EVERYWHERE YOU GO,
EVERYBODY WANTED BIKE LANES. THAT WAS, LIKE, THE NUMBER ONE VOTE-GETTER
WHEN WE WENT THROUGH THE PROCESS. STORM WATER MANAGEMENT,
AS I MENTIONED. UM, BUT ALSO SHRINKING CITY RESOURCES– KIND OF HOW DO WE ENSURE
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR CITIZENS BUT WE HAVE TO DO IT
IN A DIFFERENT WAY. WE CAN’T SUBSIDIZE
OUR PARKS DEPARTMENT ANYMORE. THE BUDGET FOR THE PARKS DEPARTMENT’S
BEEN CUT BY TWO-THIRDS. SO, HOW DO YOU STILL PROVIDE
HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE FOR CITIZENS WHEN WE DON’T HAVE
A LOT OF RESOURCES? AND HOW DO WE CREATIVELY
THINK ABOUT THAT? AND WE WANTED TO HAVE
THAT CONVERSATION WITH THE COMMUNITY. SO, WE ENDED UP WITH A MASTER PLAN
BASED ON SIX THEMES– PARKS AND RECREATION,
GREENING, CONNECTIONS, NATURAL SYSTEMS, THE GRAND RIVER,
AND LOCAL FOOD. GRAND RIVER, IN PARTICULAR–
EVERYONE HAS VIEWED THAT AS KIND OF THIS UNDER-UTILIZED ASSET. AND HOW DO WE KIND OF
MAKE MORE USE OF THE RIVER? WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE
ONE OF THOSE COMMUNITIES WHERE YOU HAVE
ALL OF THE LITTLE RESTAURANTS RIGHT AT THE RIVER’S EDGE. NOT WHEN YOU HAVE A 12-FOOT RISE AND FALL
OF THE RIVER, DEPENDING ON THE SEASON. SO, THAT DOESN’T WORK. BUT HOW DO YOU REALLY
ACTIVATE THE RIVER? REALLY, WE WERE POINTING
TOWARDS RECREATION. AGAIN, WE HAD AN EXTENSIVE
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROCESS SIMILAR TO THE MASTER PLAN–
IT INVOLVED A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND ACTUALLY CREATED A GAME
CALLED “GREEN PURSUITS,” UH, WHICH PRODUCED SOME
REALLY INTERESTING RESULTS. AND OUT OF THAT
WHOLE PROCESS, WE ENDED UP WITH SOME REALLY
CORE RECOMMENDATIONS– OR MULTIPLE RECOMMENDATIONS–
OUT OF THE PLAN PROCESS. BUT REALLY,
KIND OF THE BIG HIGHLIGHTS WERE “MAKE SURE THAT
WE’RE PROVIDING A PARK “WITHIN A QUARTER MILE
OF ALL RESIDENTS.” AND THAT RECOMMENDATION–
THIS IS KIND OF A HEAT MAP, WHERE WE TOOK POPULATION DENSITY,
UH, PARK LAND ACREAGE, AND WALKING RADIUS,
TO BE ABLE TO DEFINE, “WHERE DO WE HAVE THESE DEFICIENCIES
IN PARK LAND?” SO, IF G.R.P.S. IS DISPOSING
OF A PIECE OF PROPERTY, WE KNOW HOW HARD WE NEED TO FIGHT
TO BE ABLE TO ACQUIRE IT. IF THERE IS A PROPERTY
GOING THROUGH FORECLOSURE THAT WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE,
MAYBE WE NEED TO LOOK AT THAT. UM… AND SO, WE’VE BEEN ACTUALLY
SYSTEMATICALLY LOOKING AT THESE AREAS AND THE RED AREAS–
I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE A– OOO, I CAN DRAG
THAT LITTLE HAND. UM, THIS AREA RIGHT HERE, UM,
IS DOWN BY JOE TAYLOR PARK, AND THAT AREA, WE ACTUALLY
INCREASED THE PARK SPACE FROM ONE ACRE
TO TWO ACRES. UM, AND THAT PARK
IS ACTUALLY A GREAT EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU GET MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS
OF THE CITY TO WORK TOGETHER. WE ENDED UP
CLOSING A STREET. WE HAVE A STORM WATER FACILITY
UNDERNEATH THE PARK THAT HOLDS 240,000 GALLONS
OF WATER. IT TREATS 40 ACRES
FOR WATER QUALITY. IT ALL GOES INTO THAT,
UNDERNEATH THE PARK. UM, IT TAKES OUT
THE HEAVY METALS, AND EVERYTHING KIND OF
LANDS DOWN AT THE BOTTOM– IT’LL HAVE TO BE VACUUMED OUT
FROM TIME TO TIME– AND THEN, THE REST OF IT CAN CONTINUE ON
UNTIL IT GOES TO THE GRAND RIVER. UM, AND WE HAVE POROUS ASPHALT
IN THE PARKING LOT, WE PLANTED
TONS OF TREES, AND THE KIDS EVEN GOT
A WATER PLAYGROUND, AND THAT WATER IS RECYCLED
TO WATER AT THE PARK. SO, WE REALLY TRY TO USE
SOME GREEN STRATEGIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THAT. WE ALSO HAVE OTHER LOCATIONS
LIKE, UM, THIS BIG RED AREA, WHICH IS THE SOUTH END
OF HERITAGE HILL. AND WHAT
WE FOUND THERE IS THE THE CORNER
AT MADISON AND PLEASANT, THE CITY WAS ABLE TO DO–
THROUGH A LAND SWAP– ACQUIRE TWO ACRES OF LAND WHICH IS,
RIGHT NOW, A TWO-ACRE PARKING LOT. AND THE IMPACT AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE
IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD– TURN A TWO-ACRE PARKING LOT
INTO A GREEN SPACE, WILL BE HUGE. AND WE ACTUALLY PLANNED THAT PARK
WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AND IT WAS SOMEWHAT
SURPRISING TO ME, ‘CAUSE YOU’D THINK THAT EVERYBODY WOULD
WANT EVERYTHING LOADED INTO THE PARK… AND THEY SAID, “ALL WE WANT
IS A SMALL PLAYGROUND, AND FIELD. “WE JUST WANT A PLACE
TO BE ABLE TO THROW A BALL, “AN AREA TO PLAY SOCCER,
BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THAT, “‘CAUSE IT’S A DENSE
NEIGHBORHOOD.” AND SO, THOSE STORIES HAVE
BEEN VERY INTERESTING FOR US, TO KIND OF SEE HOW PEOPLE
PERCEIVE THEIR GREEN SPACES AND WHAT’S IMPORTANT
TO THEM. UM, THIS IS THE JOE TAYLOR PARK EXAMPLE. I FORGOT I PUT THIS–
I HAD PUT THIS IN. BUT THE AREA
TO THE RIGHT IS WHERE THE UNDERGROUND
INFILTRATION SYSTEM IS– OR RETENTION SYSTEM IS– AND THEN, WE DON’T HAVE
THE COMMUNITY GARDENS IN THERE, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE
HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED, AND THIS IS THE FIRST FULL SUMMER
IT WILL BE OPEN. THE WATER PLAYGROUND IS GREAT,
‘CAUSE YOU’LL SEE 50 KIDS THAT ARE OUT THERE ALL DAY LONG,
AND AFTERWARDS. ANOTHER THEME WAS
THE “GREENING” THEME, AND YOU’LL FREQUENTLY HEAR
THIS “40 PERCENT TREE CANOPY” GOAL. THAT WAS REALLY IDENTIFIED
THROUGH THE PROCESS. IT’S BASED ON AMERICAN FORESTS’
RECOMMENDATION ON WHAT YOU SHOULD BE
AS A CITY. I MEAN,
IT’S A PRETTY HIGH TARGET. GRAND RAPIDS IS ABOUT
36.4 PERCENT RIGHT NOW. SO, IT DOESN’T SEEM
LIKE WE’RE THAT FAR OFF FROM 40 PERCENT,
BUT THAT MEANS… IT’S 185,000 TREES.
(audience laughing) SO, THERE’S A LOT OF WORK–
TOTALED, WE NEED TO PLANT 185,000 TREES TO GET FROM THAT 36
TO 40 PERCENT NUMBER. SO, WE HAVE
A LOT OF WORK TO DO. THE CHALLENGES IS
IS WE CAN’T DO ALL OF THAT. WE CAN’T PLANT 185,000 TREES
ON PUBLIC LAND. WE JUST DON’T HAVE– BETWEEN THE PARK LAND
AND THE STREET RIGHTS-OF-WAY, WE ONLY HAVE SO MUCH SPACE. SO, HOW DO WE DO THIS WORK
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CITIZENS TO GET PEOPLE TO LOVE TREES
AND WANNA PLANT TREES? AND TREES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT FROM A STORM WATER MANAGEMENT
STANDPOINT, FROM A COOLING STANDPOINT, ESPECIALLY
IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT HIGH-HEAT DAYS. UH, EVERYBODY TALKS
ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING AND WHETHER OR NOT
IT’S REALLY HAPPENING, BUT WHEN YOU TALK
TO PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS AND THEY’RE WATCHING THE NUMBER
OF HIGH-HEAT DAYS WHEN THEY OCCUR, THERE’S A CORRELATION
BETWEEN HIGH-HEAT DAYS AND STRESS
ON VULNERABLE POPULATIONS– THE ELDERLY,
LOW-INCOME, PEOPLE WHO CAN’T AFFORD
AIR CONDITIONING– AND WHETHER OR NOT
THERE’S TREE CANOPY THERE. SO, YOU START LOOKING
AT THESE RELATIONSHIPS. IT’S VERY INTERESTING. SO, WE HAVE A TREE CANOPY GOAL
OF 40 PERCENT– THE 185,000 TREES. AND I MENTIONED
THE GAME EARLIER, AND THE PICTURE ON THE LEFT
ACTUALLY REPRESENTS WHAT WE LEARNED FROM CITIZENS
WHEN WE ASKED THEM TO MAP THINGS. ONE OF THE THINGS
WE ASKED WAS, “IDENTIFY THE STREETS
WHERE WE NEED MORE TREES.” AND SO, KIND OF THE COMPILATION
OF THAT MAP, BASED ON CITIZEN IMPUTS
ON THE LEFT. THE MAP ON THE RIGHT,
UH, WE HAD PARTNERED WITH GRAND VALLEY’S
WATER RESEARCH INSTITUTE TO DO THE FULL TREE CANOPY
ANALYSIS, SO WE KNEW WHAT PERCENT WE HAD,
WHERE, AND BY NEIGHBORHOOD. AND WE ASKED THEM TO PULL UP
PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT TREES WE NEED
TO PLANT, WHERE, ON WHAT STREETS. AND WHEN YOU COMPARE THE TWO MAPS,
THEY’RE QUITE CLOSE. UM, THAT CITIZENS INTUITIVELY KNOW
WHAT WE NEED, WHERE. AND SO, IT WAS A REALLY
GOOD LESSON FOR US TO, YOU KNOW– WE KNEW THAT ALREADY,
FROM DOING THE MASTER PLAN, BUT IT WAS JUST KIND OF
THIS VALIDATION THAT “PEOPLE INTUITIVELY
KNOW THEIR COMMUNITY, “THEY KNOW WHAT’S IMPORTANT,
AND WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN.” IT’S JUST HOW DO YOU GIVE THEM
THE TOOLS TO BE ABLE TO MAKE IT REAL? CONNECTIONS– UH, THE WHOLE THEME
OF BIKE LANES, AGAIN, CAME UP
IN COMPLETE STREETS. THAT A WHOLE RANGE
OF TRANSPORTATION CHOICES THAT WE WANT
TO PROVIDE TO PEOPLE– THAT THEY CAN RIDE TRANSIT,
THEY CAN WALK, THEY CAN BIKE,
AND GO BY CAR. YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAN FOR FREIGHT,
FOR TRUCK TRAFFIC. BUT HOW DO YOU
GO ABOUT DOING THAT? AND ONE OF THE EASIEST TECHNIQUES,
WHICH IS DEPICTED ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE, IS PUTTING ROADS
ON A “ROAD DIET.” SO, YOU GO FROM A FOUR-LANE CROSS-SECTION
TO A THREE-LANE CROSS-SECTION. SO, TWO TRAVEL LANES IN EACH DIRECTION
TO ONE TRAVEL LANE IN EACH DIRECTION WITH A CENTER TURN-LANE. AND THAT SPACE–
THE EXTRA SPACE THAT YOU HAVE– PROVIDES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY
TO THEN PUT BIKE LANES ON THE OUTSIDE. UM, AND YOU’VE SEEN THIS HAPPEN
IN A NUMBER OF GRAND RAPIDS STREETS. UH, BURTON IS GONNA BE
THE LATEST ONE THAT WE DO. DIVISION– IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR
WITH DIVISION, WE’VE BEEN DOING THAT, AND
I’VE GOT A PICTURE OF DIVISION– UH, THAT WE JUST RECENTLY
PUT ON A ROAD DIET IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MICHIGAN
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. UM, AND NOW, THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY INSTITUTE
IS REALLY PUSHING– THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
IS REALLY PUSHING FOR ROAD DIETS BECAUSE OF THE SAFETY DATA
THAT’S COMING OUT. UM, HIGH-IMPACT CRASHES
IS REDUCED BY 60 PERCENT. DEATH AND MORTALITY
CAN BE REDUCED BY 30 PERCENT. SOME OF THE NUMBERS THAT
ARE COMING OUT ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF DOING A THREE-LANE CROSS-SECTION
VERSUS A FOUR-LANE CROSS-SECTION– JUST BECAUSE OF THE WAY
PEOPLE TRAVEL– IT AUTOMATICALLY REDUCES
YOUR TRAVEL SPEEDS, BECAUSE THE LEAD CAR SETS THE PACE
FOR THE REST OF THE PLATOON. YOU DON’T HAVE PEOPLE JOCKEYING
FOR POSITION AND TRYING TO PASS. IF SOMEBODY’S TURNING
A LEFT-HAND TURN-LANE, THEY’RE PAYING ATTENTION
TO THE CAR THAT’S CLOSEST TO THEM, BUT THEY MAY NOT SEE THE CAR THAT’S
TRYING TO PASS ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE AND YOU GET A CRASH. UM, SO, THERE’S A NUMBER
OF DIFFERENT BENEFITS TO DOING THE ROAD DIETS. AND TRAVEL TIMES
ARE INCREASED JUST A– WE FOUND ON DIVISION, TRAVEL TIMES
WERE INCREASED BY 30 SECONDS… BUT THE LIVABILITY
OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD BASED ON WHAT WE’VE BEEN LEARNING
IN THE HEARTSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR THOSE RESIDENTS,
IT’S MADE A HUGE IMPACT. IT’S EASIER TO CROSS THE STREET, IT’S A QUIETER STREET,
IT’S SLOWER TRAFFIC– UM, IT’S MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE TO THEM
AND THAT SENSE OF PLACE. PLAINFIELD AVENUE
IS ANOTHER ONE THAT WE DID– UH, 18,000 CARS A DAY
TRAVELED PLAINFIELD, AND COMMUTERS
DON’T LIKE IT BECAUSE THEY CAN’T ZOOM
THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD. BUT FOR THE BUSINESS DISTRICT,
IT’S REALLY MEANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE THE SHOPS AND BUILD EXCITEMENT
ABOUT WHAT COULD HAPPEN HERE. AND JUST RECENTLY,
THEY ANNOUNCED THEY’RE GOING TO BE DOING
BIO-RETENTION ISLANDS AS MEDIANS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET
IN PLAINFIELD, NORTH OF LEONARD– THAT THE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
IS STRONGLY IN SUPPORT OF IT. UM, AND IN FACT, THEY’RE PAYING
FOR MOST OF IT, TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. SO, HOW DO WE TREAT
OUR STREETS AS PLACES, NOT JUST A PLACE
FOR CARS? ER, ER, ROADS FOR PEOPLE TO DRIVE. SO, YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT
THE MULTIPLE USERS THAT ARE USING
THE STREET NOW. NATURAL SYSTEMS–
THE STORM WATER IMPACT. THE GOAL IS TO CATCH
THE STORM WATER WHERE IT FALLS… AND THAT LEADS TO GREEN ROOFS
AND RAIN GARDENS AND RETENTION SWELLS AND ALL OTHER THINGS TO TRY
TO MANAGE THE STORM WATER, UM, BECAUSE THE STORM WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
COSTS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND IT AFFECTS THE WATER QUALITY
THE GRAND RIVER. IT ALL EVENTUALLY GOES
INTO THE GRAND RIVER. WE HAVE ONE OF THE TOP TEN
URBAN FISHERIES IN THE COUNTRY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT STEELHEAD, AND,
UM, THERE’S JUST LOTS OF OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SURE THE WATER QUALITY
IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY. THE GRAND RIVER, UM– WE REALLY
FOCUSED ON WHAT COULD HAPPEN– AS I MENTIONED, WE SAID WE WERE NOT GOING
TO HAVE RESTAURANTS AT THE RIVERFRONT– UH, RIGHT ON THE WATER–
WHEN YOU GOT BIG FLOOD WALLS AND CHANGING ELEVATIONS
OF THE WATER. BUT REALLY,
IT’S A RECREATION OPPORTUNITY. THE GRAND RIVER
HAS A TON TO OFFER. UH, WE HAVE WATER SKIING AND ROWING–
NORTH, OVER BY RIVERSIDE PARK. AND IN FACT, WHEN THE OLYMPICS
WAS CONSIDERING WHETHER OR NOT
THEY SHOULD COME TO CHICAGO, WE WERE ACTUALLY GETTING PHONE CALLS
FROM OTHER COUNTRIES THAT WANTED TO COME
AND PRACTICE ON THE GRAND RIVER, IN PREPARATION
FOR THE OLYMPICS. SO, IT’S A GOOD RIVER
FOR ROWING. UM, BUT THEN, WE ALSO, AS I MENTIONED,
THE FISHERY IS FABULOUS. AND HISTORICALLY,
WE ACTUALLY WERE– THE GRAND RIVER WAS
A GREAT RIVER FOR STURGEON. AND SO, YOU KNOW, HOW DO WE
KIND OF RESTORE THAT HABITAT? WHAT DO WE DO
WITH THOSE DAMS? UM, AND HOW DO WE IMPROVE
THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN IT? THE GRAND RIVER
AND THE DOWNTOWN OF GRAND RAPIDS HAS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO BE KIND OF
THE HUB OF THE WEST MICHIGAN REGION TO CONNECT TO MUSKEGON
VIA THE MUSKETAWA TRAIL, TO GO NORTH UP TO CADILLAC
VIA THE WHITE PINE TRAIL, WHICH ACTUALLY CONNECTS
ALREADY DOWN TO RIVERSIDE PARK. UM, IF YOU GO OUT
TO WEALTHY STREET, YOU CAN CONNECT TO KENT TRAILS
AND MILLENNIUM PARK. IF YOU GO SOUTH, CAN YOU CONNECT
TO PLASTER CREEK TRAIL AND THORNAPPLE TRAIL? SO, AS A REGIONAL TRAIL SYSTEM,
WE HAVE THESE MISSING PIECES YET TO FILL, BUT THERE’S SOME WONDERFUL
OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT. AND SO, WHAT WE DID DURING
“GREEN GRAND RAPIDS” IS WE LOOKED AT, “HOW DO YOU PROVIDE
THOSE CONNECTIONS?” THE PICTURE ON THE RIGHT SHOWS
THAT THE TRAIL PATH THAT WE EXAMINED, YOU KNOW, CAN YOU GET UNDER
THE FULTON STREET BRIDGE? CAN YOU GET UNDER THE 131 BRIDGE,
GIVEN THE FLOOD LEVELS AND THE HEIGHTS
OF THE BRIDGE ABUTMENTS? AND HOW DO YOU
MAKE THAT WORK? WE EXAMINED THAT. WE ALSO LOOKED AT, CAN YOU PROVIDE
A KAYAK COURSE IN THE GRAND RIVER? AND THIS WORK’S ACTUALLY RESULTED
IN A NEW NONPROFIT BEING CREATED– “THE GRAND RAPIDS WHITEWATER”– AND GRAND RAPIDS WHITEWATER
RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
AND FOUNDERS BREWING COMPANY TO HIRE AN EXPERT
TO EVALUATE THE RIVER AND ITS HYDROLOGY AND THE RIVER BOTTOM–
ACTUALLY MAP THE WHOLE RIVER BOTTOM– AND TO ALSO LOOK
AT SEDIMENTATION AND WHETHER OR NOT
THERE WAS ANY CONTAMINATION FROM THE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES UPRIVER
THAT MIGHT RESULT IN BEING AN IMPEDIMENT
TO REDEVELOPING THE RIVER. WHAT THEY FOUND IS THAT
THERE’S NO CONTAMINATION IN THE RIVER, UH, IN THE SEDIMENT,
WHICH IS GREAT NEWS. UM, AND THEY ALSO–
I MENTIONED THE STURGEON HABITAT. THEY FOUND THAT NORTH
OF THE FOURTH STREET DAM, THERE’S THESE LAND SHELVES THAT
ARE FABULOUS FOR STURGEON HABITAT. WE JUST NEED TO FIND A WAY
TO BE ABLE TO GET THE FISH UP THERE. AND SO, THE WHOLE DISCUSSION ABOUT,
“WHAT YOU DO WITH THE DAMS?” UM, AND SO, THEY’RE DEVELOPING PLANS
TO NATURALIZE THE RIVER, MAYBE TAKE OUT
SOME OF THE LOW-HEAD DAMS OR REDUCE THEM,
CUT THEM DOWN. THE LOW-HEAD DAMS
ACTUALLY ARE QUITE DANGEROUS. IF YOU GET CAUGHT IN THAT CHURN
OF THE DAM, IT CAN BE FATAL. SO, IN FACT, THE EXPERT
THAT THEY’RE WORKING WITH SAID THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST
UNSAFE DAMS HE’S EVER SEEN– THAT THEY’RE VERY DANGEROUS. SO, YOU KNOW, HOW DO WE IMPROVE
THE SAFETY OF THE RIVER? HOW DO WE PRESERVE
THE NATURAL HABITAT AND ENHANCE IT? AND THE RECREATIONAL QUALITIES
THAT WE’VE GOT. SO, THAT’S GOING THROUGH
EXAMINATION RIGHT NOW, AND YET THIS YEAR,
WE’RE SUPPO– WE’RE GOING TO BE HEARING A REPORT
ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THAT’S FEASIBLE. THE LAST THING
IS LOCAL FOOD, AND YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR
WITH DOWNTOWN URBAN MARKET THAT’S ABOUT TO BE DEVELOPED,
SOUTH OF WEALTHY. THEY’VE ALREADY
CLEARED THE SITE AND THEY’RE WORKING ON
THE FOUNDATION WORK RIGHT NOW. THAT’LL BE A YEAR-ROUND
FARMERS MARKET. THEY’LL HAVE INDOOR AND
OUTDOOR VENDOR STALLS. THE FULTON STREET FARMERS MARKET
IS ALSO BEING UPGRADED WITH A WHOLE NEW SHED AND, AGAIN,
SOME YEAR-ROUND FACILITIES, ON A MUCH SMALLER SCALE
THAN THE URBAN MARKET. BUT DO WE ALSO HAVE OPPORTUNITIES
FOR LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS– LIKE THE Y.M.C.A.
ON THE WEST SIDE HAS ONE– OR COMMUNITY GARDENS? AND WHAT POLICY IMPEDIMENTS
DO WE HAVE? SO, DURING “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS,”
WE ACTUALLY DID A WHITE PAPER ON POLICY IMPEDIMENTS THAT THE CITY HAS
TO PREVENTING URBAN MARKETS AND FARMERS GARDENS– ER, FARMERS MARKETS
AND COMMUNITY GARDENS– TO BE ABLE TO FIND OUT IF THERE’S
SOME THINGS WE SHOULD CHANGE. AND AS A RESULT OF THAT,
WE DID CHANGE THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO MAKE IT A LITTLE EASIER FOR PEOPLE
TO COME IN AND DO THOSE ACTIVITIES. WHAT’S BEEN MOST INTERESTING
WITH “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS” IS THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY THAT
THE COMMUNITY HAS RESPONDED WITH, THAT THE OWNERSHIP OF GROUPS
LIKE “FRIENDS OF GRAND RAPIDS PARKS,” “W.M.E.A.C.”– THE WEST MICHIGAN
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COUNCIL– “GRAND RAPIDS WHITEWATER,”
“GREATER GRAND RAPIDS BICYCLE COALITION.” UM, EVEN, YOU KNOW,
WITHIN OUR OWN CITY, OUR CITY DESIGN TEAM, WHICH IS A COMBINATION
OF MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS– WATER, SEWER, STORM WATER, FIRE,
TRAFFIC SAFETY, ENGINEERING, PLANNING– WE ACTUALLY DESIGN ROADS TOGETHER
AND DESIGN PROJECTS TOGETHER. AND WHEN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
COME IN OF A LARGER SCALE, WE REVIEW THEM TOGETHER. AND SO, KIND OF THIS EXPECTATION
AS A TEAM THAT WE HAVE TO SEE SOME OF THESE THINGS IMPLEMENTED
HAS REALLY CARRIED THROUGH. IN FACT, OUR TRAFFIC SAFETY DIRECTOR
JUST GAVE THE CITY MANAGER TODAY, A LIST OF RECOMMENDED STREETS
TO PAINT FOR BIKE LANES THIS SUMMER THAT WILL TOTAL 25 MILES,
IF WE IMPLEMENT ALL OF IT. AND SO, THAT’S BEING HA– THAT’S NOW HAPPENING
IN VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY,
WHICH IS VERY EXCITING. THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
ALSO HAS BEEN VERY INVOLVED WITH HOW DO THEY, AGAIN, MAKE DOWNTOWN
REALLY AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE AND ENHANCE
THE RIVER WALK. AND AGAIN, THEY’RE VERY SUPPORTIVE
OF THE URBAN MARKET. SO, EVERYBODY’S KINDA
BEEN TAKING ON LITTLE PIECES, WHICH HAS BEEN VERY EXCITING. AND SO, IF YOU’RE INTERESTED
IN BECOMING INVOLVED, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO CONNECT
WITH ONE OF THOSE GROUPS, OR EVEN STARTING YOUR OWN INITIATIVE THAT
SOMEHOW CONNECTS TO THOSE MAIN GOALS– UH, WE’VE SEEN A NUMBER OF GROUPS
JUST KIND OF POP UP THAT SAY, “WE’RE GONNA GO PLANT 100 TREES”
OR “WE’RE GONNA GO DO–” YOU KNOW, SOMETHING
THAT I HAD NOT EXPECTED, AND THEY’RE ALL RELATED
TO “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS.” AND SO, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PLANNING
AND THE VALUE OF PLANNING AND KIND OF THAT VISION
GOING FORWARD, AND THIS FRAMEWORK
THAT YOU’RE CREATING WHERE EVERYBODY KINDA KNOWS
WHERE THEY BELONG OR WHAT WE’RE WORKING TOWARDS– UM, THIS PROJECT’S BEEN VERY INTERESTING
FROM THE STANDPOINT THAT EVERYBODY’S KIND OF
TAKEN A PIECE ON THEIR OWN, AND THEY’RE WORKING TO MAKE
THAT REALIZATION, WHICH IS JUST– IT’S JUST BEEN AMAZING. WE’VE ALREADY HAD, BETWEEN
GRANTS AND PRIVATE INVESTMENT– IF YOU DON’T INCLUDE THE URBAN MARKET
AND THE FARMERS MARKET AT FULTON– WE’VE HAD ABOUT $3 MILLION WORTH
OF INVESTMENT ALREADY IN THE PAST THREE YEARS
RELATED TO “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS,” AND THAT DOESN’T COUNT
THE THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS THAT WE’VE SEEN. SO, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BUILDING
FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE, I THINK THERE’S A COUPLE
KEY CRITICAL COMPONENTS THAT WE NEED
TO THINK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW WE GO
ABOUT DOING THAT. AND THE COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP,
AS I MENTIONED, AND THOSE PARTNERSHIPS AND THE COLLABORATION AND BEING WILLING TO TAKE THAT PIECE
AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN, IS REALLY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE WE CAN’T DO IT– ESPECIALLY WHEN EVERYBODY’S
SO CONSTRAINED ON RESOURCES– WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER
TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. THAT FOUNDATION OF SMART GROWTH
IS REALLY IMPORTANT ‘CAUSE THOSE ARE YOUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES,
REALLY, THAT, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE COMMITTED
TO DOING MIXED USE AND BALANCED TRANSPORTATION,
AND A RANGE OF HOUSING CHOICES, AND CONTINUING TO INVEST
IN THE CORE OF THE CITY– ARE REALLY KEY PRINCIPLES
THAT WE CONTINUALLY LOOK AT. LOOKING AT QUALITY DESIGN
AND REGULATING FOR IT– THAT YOU’VE NOT ONLY LAID OUT
THAT COMMUNITY EXPECTATION BUT YOU’D ACTUALLY CHANGED
ORDINANCES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. THAT’S NOW LAW, THAT WE’RE GOING
TO HAVE THIS COMMUNITY EXPECTATION, AND WE’LL HAVE PEOPLE DEVELOP
TO THAT… IS REALLY, I THINK, KEY. AND THIS IDEA OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE–
HOW PARKS AND COMMUNITY GARDENS AND, YOU KNOW, EVEN STORM WATER
OR WATERWAYS AND THE RIVER, ALL RELATE TO HAVING
A GREAT QUALITY OF LIFE. AND IT’S A PLACE
WHERE PEOPLE WANNA BE, IT GENERATES ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT, AND REALLY– I’VE SEEN A HUGE DIFFERENCE
IN HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE THE CITY, JUST BY PAINTING
THE BIKE LANES THAT WE HAVE. UM, THAT, YOU KNOW, “THIS IS A PLACE
THAT’S STARTING TO GET IT.” AND, YOU KNOW,
IT’S NOT CHICAGO OR SEATTLE, BUT WE’RE DOING IT
IN OUR OWN WAY AND IT’S WORKING. AND THEN, KIND OF,
HOW DO YOU MEASURE THAT SUCCESS? THAT WE’RE CONTINUALLY
WORKING TOWARD SOMETHING, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO CELEBRATE
WHAT WE’VE ALREADY DONE, AND RECOGNIZE THOSE INCREMENTAL CHANGES
AS WE GO ALONG. AND THAT SPEAKS TO THE LAST POINT
OF “IT’S A PROCESS, NOT A GOAL.” THAT IT’S THIS CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT,
CONTINUOUS WORK, “YOU’RE NEVER DONE.” YOU SET OUT THAT VISION AND
NOW YOU GOTTA CHANGE THE POLICIES AND YOU GOTTA CHANGE
THE ORDINANCES AND GO BACK
AND REEVALUATE AND PLAN AGAIN TO MAKE SURE
YOU’RE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, OR THERE’S NEW ISSUES YOU HADN’T
ANTICIPATED THAT YOU NEED TO SOLVE. BUT GIVEN HOW SUCCESSFUL
I THINK WE’VE BEEN AS A CITY, AND ALL OF THE GREAT ENERGY
THAT’S HAPPENING, I THINK IT REALLY– YOU CAN START TO SEE
THAT PAY OFF, AND YOU CAN START TO SEE
THE BIG CHANGES THAT ARE HAPPENING AND THE EXCITEMENT
IT’S GENERATING. SO, UM…
IT’S A FUN JOB. I’VE REALLY ENJOYED IT. SO, UM, THANKS A LOT
FOR HAVING ME. DOES ANYBODY
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? YEAH?>>I’VE SEEN YOUR VIDEO
AND I LOVE IT. WE SAW IT IN A.R. 103. SO, A COUPLE QUESTIONS IS WHERE DID YOU GET
YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THIS DESIGN, THIS TOTAL REVAMPING
OF THE GRAND RAPIDS ZONING ORDINANCES?>>THE REVAMPING
OF THE GRAND RAPIDS ZONING ORDINANCE REALLY CAME FROM
THE MASTER PLAN PROCESS AND WHAT WE HEARD
FROM CITIZENS. I, UM, I FIRMLY BELIEVE
IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND HAVING CITIZENS INVOLVED
IN DIALOGUE, AND THAT WILL GUIDE, KIND OF,
WHERE WE NEED TO HEAD, AND, UM… IT WAS FUNNY ‘CAUSE DURING
THE MASTER PLAN PROCESS OR EVEN THE ZONING ORDINANCE
OR “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS,” I COULDN’T TELL YOU WHAT THE END PRODUCT
WAS GOING TO LOOK LIKE UNTIL WE WERE ABOUT THREE-QUARTERS
OF THE WAY THROUGH THE PROCESS, UM, BECAUSE I REALLY THINK THAT PROCESS
IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE PRODUCT, AND IF YOU’VE DONE A REALLY GREAT PROCESS,
THEN THE PRODUCT FOLLOWS, AND YOU DON’T HAVE CONTENTION,
YOU DON’T HAVE PEOPLE FIGHTING. IT’S– EVERYBODY HAS
KIND OF COME ONBOARD IN ONE WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM,
THROUGH THE PROCESS. AND SO, FOR THE ZONING ORDINANCE,
IT REALLY WAS THIS EVOLUTION FROM THE MASTER PLAN, AND PEOPLE TALKING
ABOUT THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS AND WHY THEY LOVE
THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS AND THEY WANNA MAINTAIN
THAT QUALITY, AND THEN FIGURING OUT HOW TO WRITE
THE CODE TO THAT, THAT, YOU KNOW– THIS IS– YOU KNOW,
IF STOREFRONT WINDOWS ARE IMPORTANT, OR IF YOU’RE A NEIGHBORHOOD
THAT HAS ALL FRONT PORCHES AND NOW PUTTING GARAGES ON THE FRONT
IS GONNA KIND OF IMPAIR THAT QUALITY, THEN WE DON’T WANT
TO HAVE THAT. SO, EVEN IN THE WRITING
OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE, WE HAD A GROUP OF ABOUT
20 TO 25 NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERS THAT WERE INVOLVED
IN ACTUALLY REVIEWING THE TEXT, AS WE WENT THROUGH
THE PROCESS. SO, I’D FINISH ONE ARTICLE, GO MEET WITH THEM
AND GET THEIR FEEDBACK, AND REVISE, AND THEN
DO THE NEXT CHAPTER. SO, IT REALLY WAS THIS
KIND OF REITERATIVE PROCESS WITH THE COMMUNITY
ABOUT LEARNING WHAT THEY WANT, WHAT THEIR PRIORITIES WERE,
AND HOW WE COULD GET THERE.>>HAVE YOU BENCHMARKED– HAVE YOU BENCHMARKED WHERE
YOU WERE WHEN YOU STARTED? AND THEN, HOW FAR ARE YOU ALONG–
PERCENTAGE– OR HOW ARE YOU
MEASURING YOUR SUCCESS?>>WE USE OUR SUSTAINABILITY PLAN–
FOR SOME OF IT. BIKE LANES, I THINK,
ARE THE EASIEST THINGS TO MEASURE, SO FAR,
THAT WE’VE HAD… THAT WE STARTED OFF
WITH ALMOST ZERO– THAT THE FIRST BIKE LANE
WE DID WAS AT LAKE DRIVE, BETWEEN CHERRY AND DIAMOND,
KIND OF THAT AREA, AND THAT WAS 1.2 MILES. LAST YEAR,
WE DID SEVEN MILES. AND SO, IF WE DO 25 MILES THIS YEAR,
IT’LL BE QUITE THE BANNER YEAR. UM… I THINK THERE’S THAT PIECE. PART OF IT IS JUST SEEING
THE PHYSICAL CHANGES, AND WE HAVEN’T QUANTIFIED, NECESSARILY,
THE NUMBER OF BUILDINGS THAT HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED
UNDER THE NEW ZONING ORDINANCE, WHICH PROBABLY WOULD BE
A GOOD EXERCISE, BUT THERE’S ALSO THAT QUESTION
OF “WOULD THEY GET BUILT ANYWAY?” BUT I KNOW THERE’S A NUMBER OF PLACES
THAT THEY WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BUILT THE WAY THAT WE WANTED THEM,
HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE ZONING ORDINANCE. THAT, HAD WE NOT
HAD THOSE REGULATIONS IN PLACE, WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN SOMETHING
THAT EVERYBODY SAID, “EW.” I MEAN, “THIS IS JUST THE SAME
AS EVERYTHING ELSE, EVERY PLACE ELSE,” THAT “THIS DOESN’T HELP
BUILD OUR COMMUNITY AT ALL– “THE BUILDING’S IN THE BACK,
THE PARKING LOT’S IN THE FRONT, “AND I COULD BE ANYWHERE.” BUT INSTEAD, YOU GET GREAT STORES
LIKE RYLEE’S ACE HARDWARE OR, YOU KNOW, OTHER ONES THAT NOW
ARE STARTING TO BE PART OF THE FABRIC OF THE COMMUNITY, INSTEAD OF JUST KIND
OF THIS BLOBBY WHATEVER ALL OVER THE PLACE. SO, UM, THOSE PIECES, I THINK,
ARE HARD TO QUANTIFY, IN SOME CASES, BECAUSE YOU CAN TALK ABOUT
ADDITIONAL PROPERTY VALUES AND ECONOMIC RETURN OR SOMEBODY’S DECISION
TO INVEST IN THE COMMUNITY. WE’VE HEARD A LOT OF ANECDOTES
FROM PEOPLE WHO– WELL, ONE BUSINESS OWNER
IN THE CRESTON BUSINESS DISTRICT WHO SAID, “I WAS LOOKING FOR
BUSINESS DISTRICTS TO LOCATE IN, “I HADN’T MADE UP MY MIND, AND THEN,
I SAW THE CRESTON NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN. “AND THE PLAN TALKED ABOUT THIS VISION
FOR THE BUSINESS DISTRICT, “AND I KNEW THAT’S
WHERE I WANTED TO BE.” SO, THERE’S THESE THINGS
THAT YOU CAN’T QUITE QUANTIFY, BUT IT’S MORE QUALITATIVE INFORMATION
THAT WE GAIN OVER TIME. SO, IT’S BEEN A LITTLE
COMBINATION OF BOTH.>>QUESTION OVER HERE.>>YOU MENTIONED BUS RAPID
TRANSPORTATION IN 2014. WAS THE IDEA… TO HAVE BUS ROUTES
COMING EVERY 14 SECONDS– WAS THAT ONLY GONNA BE,
LIKE, ROUTES THAT WERE GOING TO LEAD YOU
TO CENTRAL STATION, OR WAS THAT PLANNED TO BE
ALL ROUTES IN GRAND RAPIDS? OR WOULD YOU KNOW ANY MORE
INFORMATION ABOUT THAT?>>YEAH, THE HEADWAY TIMES
FOR THE BUS RAPID TRANSIT WILL BE ABOUT SIX
TO TEN MINUTES. THE WAIT TIME AT THE STOP’S
ABOUT 14 SECONDS. SO, I JUST WANNA MAKE SURE
THAT THAT’S UNDERSTOOD. UM, THE SILVER LINE’S THE FIRST,
HOPEFULLY, OF MANY LINES. THE SECOND LINE THAT’S PROPOSED
FOR THE BUS RAPID TRANSIT WILL BE THE LAKER LINE– THE NUMBER 50 BUS THAT GOES
FROM DOWNTOWN OUT TO ALLENDALE. THE ROUTE FOR THE SILVER LINE
IS 60th STREET, ALL THE WAY UP TO DIVISION,
TO WEALTHY STREET, AND THEN IT TURNS WEALTHY
TO JEFFERSON, UP TO FULTON STREET,
AND THEN IT JOGS ONTO RANSOM, AND THEN UP CRESCENT,
UP TO MICHIGAN STREET, AND THEN DOWN MONROE
TO THE RAPID CENTRAL STATION. SO, IT’LL RUN,
LIKE, A LOOP. BUT THAT WILL BE THE LINE, AND THEN IT’LL CONNECT INTO
OTHER TRADITIONAL BUS ROUTES. BUT THAT WILL BE THE FIRST KIND OF–
UM, THE FIRST BUS LINE– THEN, THE SECOND ONE
WILL BE THE LAKER LINE. THE THIRD LINE
IS UNDETERMINED YET, BUT IT’LL PROBABLY BE ON
THE SOUTHEAST SIDE SOMEPLACE. I MEAN, THEIR MASTER PLAN SHOWS THAT–
YOU KNOW, DOES IT GO OUT TO THE AIRPORT? DOES IT CONNECT
TO EAST GRAND RAPIDS? KIND OF– IT’S A BIG AREA THAT
THEY KIND OF DEFINE IN THIS BIG SWATH. BUT THE GOAL,
WHENEVER THEY DO THAT, IS YOU’RE CONNECTING MAJOR
DESTINATION POINTS, MAJOR NODES. SO, GRAND VALLEY IS AN ANCHOR
IN DOWNTOWN– DOWNTOWN– ER, THE DIVISION LINE
RIGHT NOW IS ONE OF THE MOST HEAVILY-USED ROUTES
IN THE CITY, SO THEY PICKED THAT ONE
AS THE FIRST ONE. ALSO, THERE’S HUGE ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL– RE-DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL
OF MANY SITES ALONG DIVISION, WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON
THEY CHOSE THAT ROUTE.>>I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU, WHICH IS BASED UPON THE HISTORY
OF PLANNING IN THE COMMUNITY, AND THAT IS, IS THAT
I THINK MR. (indistinct) OVER HERE HAD A COMMENT
RELATED TO THAT, AND COMING TO THE FRUITION
OF UNDERSTANDING ABOUT FORM-BASED DEVELOPMENT
AND HOW THAT WORKS. IT SEEMS TO ME YOU’RE HAVING
TO ALSO EDUCATE DEVELOPERS IN THE PROCESS, AND THAT’S A PROBLEM, IT SEEMS TO ME,
IN TERMS OF THE ECONOMY. I KNOW WHEN WE DID THIS
FOUR YEARS, I SAID ONE OF THE BIGGEST FLAWS
I COULD SEE IS THAT NOW YOU GOTTA REALLY SPEND TIME
IN EDUCATING THE BUILDERS WHO ARE COMING IN TO DOING THIS WORK,
AND PUT ‘EM IN THE PROCESS. HOW HARD IS THAT, THEN?>>IT COMPLETELY DEPENDS,
UM, ON THE DEVELOPER. WE GET QUITE THE RANGE
OF LEVELS OF SOPHISTICATION. I MEAN, IF WE HAVE A BUILDER WHO’S USED TO DOING SUBURBAN-STYLE
DEVELOPMENT IN TOWNSHIPS, AND THEY COME
INTO GRAND RAPIDS, THE CODE IS COMPLETELY FOREIGN TO THEM,
AND IT’S REALLY AN EDUCATION PROCESS. IF THEY’RE USED TO DEVELOPING
IN AN URBAN CONTEXT, IT’S KIND OF NATURAL TO THEM
AND IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. SO, THEY REALLY HAVE
TO UNDERSTAND CONTEXT. SO, THE FIRST PIECE OF THE EDUCATION
IS MAKING SURE THEY UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OF THE AREA THAT THEY’RE
GOING TO BE WORKING IN, IF THEY’RE NOT FAMILIAR
WITH HOW OUR CODE WORKS. SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THERE’S
REASONS WHY WE REGULATE THIS WAY, THAT THERE’S A CONTINUOUS
STREET WALL, THAT WE WANT WALKABILITY, THAT,
YOU KNOW, WE WANT WINDOWS FOR SAFETY. AND SO, IT KIND OF BECOMES THIS KIND
OF MENTAL SCRIPT THAT YOU HAVE WHEN YOU’RE EXPLAINING
WHY YOU HAVE ALL THESE THINGS. I THINK PEOPLE RESPOND MUCH BETTER
WHEN YOU EXPLAIN IT TO THEM. IT’S NOT JUST,
“HERE’S THE RULE,” BUT “THIS RULE IS HERE BECAUSE OF”
WHATEVER THE REASON IS. AND ONCE THEY UNDERSTAND THAT,
THEY’RE MUCH MORE SYMPATHETIC AND WILLING TO WORK WITH YOU
THAN IF YOU JUST SAID, “THIS IS THE RULE
AND THAT’S THE WAY IT IS.” ONCE THEY UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS
AND HOW IT WORKS, THEY TEND TO REALLY COME ALONG
AND BE SUPPORTIVE. BUT YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE INFORMATION
TO BE ABLE TO SHOW TO THEM AS TO WHY YOU HAVE
THAT REGULATION. THE CHARTER SCHOOL EXAMPLE
AT OAKDALE I MENTIONED, IF WE DIDN’T HAVE “GREEN GRAND RAPIDS”
AND HAVE THAT PARK DEFICIENCY MAP AND BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN THAT,
AS A VALUE, AS A COMMUNITY, PRESERVING GREEN SPACE
IN OUR URBAN NEIGHBORHOODS, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE DENSITY
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, SOME PEOPLE JUST
WANT A PLACE TO THROW A BALL. YOU KNOW, THAT’S JUST A REALLY BASIC THING
THAT MAKES A NEIGHBORHOOD WORK, AND ONCE YOU HAVE
THAT UNDERSTANDING, THEN THEY CAN UNDERSTAND
HOW HARD YOU’RE PUSHING TO PRESERVE
THAT GREEN SPACE OR, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU’RE TRYING
TO BALANCE PARKING WITH SOMETHING ELSE. BUT YOU’VE GOTTA BE ABLE TO
HAVE THAT DIALOGUE WITH ‘EM, AND I’VE REALLY NOT RUN
INTO ANY RESISTANCE. AND IN THIS ECONOMY,
IT’S BEEN INTERESTING BECAUSE YOU KINDA WONDER
HOW MUCH PUSH-BACK YOU’RE GOING TO GET FROM PEOPLE SAYING,
“WELL, I COULD GO INVEST SOMEPLACE ELSE.” THAT “I DON’T HAVE TO COME
TO GRAND RAPIDS. “I COULD GO TO ANOTHER COMMUNITY
AND BUILD MY BUILDING.” UM, WE’VE ONLY HAD THAT ONCE… AND IT WAS THE KIND OF A DEVELOPMENT
THAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD WOULDN’T HAVE SUPPORTED
ANYWAY. SO, UM– BUT LIKE I SAID, WHEN YOU CAN
HAVE MAJOR CHAINS LIKE WALGREENS OR SUBWAY COME IN, AND
THEY CAN MEET YOUR CODE, YOU KNOW, IT CAN BE DONE,
AND THAT’S A GOOD STORY.>>AFTER ALL, THEY WANNA
SELL THEIR PRODUCT AND THEY HAVE PEOPLE HERE
WHO WANT TO BUY IT, SO THEY HAVE TO BE OKAY–
>>THERE’S CLEARLY A MARKET THAT MAKES ‘EM CHOOSE
THAT LOCATION FOR A REASON.>>I THINK WE GOT
ONE MORE QUESTION. HOLD ON–
DAVE’S RIGHT– HOLDING ON.
(laughing)>>JUST ON THE PARKS TOPIC. LIKE, IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE CITIES
IN SORT OF THE “RUST BELT”– YOU KNOW, DETROIT, CHICAGO, PITTSBURGH,
ALL ACROSS THE NORTHEAST THERE– DOES THE CITY LOOK AT PARKS AND
GREEN SPACES AS A TOURIST DRAW? LIKE, ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT,
LIKE, BIG-NAME ARCHITECTS? LIKE, LOOKING AT WHAT THEY DID
WITH MILLENNIUM PARK IN CHICAGO AND SORT OF THE–
>>I THINK THAT’S COMING. WE’RE NOT THERE. WE’RE JUST PRAYING THAT THE GRASS
GETS CUT, BECAUSE OF BUDGET CUTS. YOU KNOW, THAT WE COULD GET
MAYBE A COUPLE NEW PIECES OF PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT. I THINK THAT BIGGER VISION,
WE TALK MORE REGIONAL PARKS. I MEAN,
THERE’S DIFFERENT SCALES OF PARKS. THERE’S A SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD PARK
THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE A LITTLE PLAYGROUND ON AND A FIELD… BUT, LIKE, RIVERSIDE PARK IS A MUCH MORE–
IT’S A REGIONAL PARK. I MEAN, IT SERVES
MULTIPLE DIFFERENT INTERESTS. PEOPLE HAVE THEIR HEALTH WALKS
OR THEIR FUNDRAISERS THERE. I THINK, REALLY, WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SEE
IN THE FUTURE IS THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT THE RIVER
AS A PARK. THE IDEA OF PUTTING A KAYAK COURSE
AND THIS REGIONAL TRAIL SYSTEM THAT CONNECTS
TO EVERYTHING, AND THE VIBRANCY
OF BEING IN A DOWNTOWN AND HOW YOU CAN CONNECT
OUT INTO OTHER COMMUNITIES WITH A TRAIL SYSTEM. I THINK THAT VISION
OF THE CHICAGO MILLENNIUM PARK– I MEAN, WE HAVE OUR OWN MILLENNIUM PARK
THAT IS VERY EXCITING AND VERY WELL-DONE, BUT HOW DO YOU BRING
THAT INTO THE URBAN CENTER? AND HOW DO YOU KIND OF REINVIGORATE
THIS WHOLE RIVER SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE? AND REALLY TAKE CARE
OF THE GREAT ASSETS WE HAVE WITH THE FISHERIES AND
THE KAYAKERS AND EVERYBODY? SO, I THINK THE BIG CONVERSATION
AROUND PARKS WILL BE AROUND THE RIVER,
REALLY, THAT WE’RE GONNA SEE
IN GRAND RAPIDS.>>THANK YOU, SUZANNE, FOR YOUR EFFORTS.
(applause)

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