Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. is being celebrated for its work to put forward an equity driven growth model for the future of the city's downtown. Recently, the International Downtown Association (IDA) recognized the Grand Rapids community for its efforts to build racial equity and opportunity in Downtown Grand Rapids with a Pinnacle Award - the industry's highest honor.
Downtown Grand Rapids spearheaded Grand Rapids Forward, which is a 10-year plan and investment strategy "to transform the Grand River into a distinct asset and support the next generation of growth in Downtown Grand Rapids." Since the Plan's adoption in 2015 many actions have been taken that support greater equity and inclusion in Grand Rapids including but not limited to:
- Changed zoning policy to better promote a range of housing options that serve a diverse range of people and families.
- Enabled the Downtown Development Authority to support minority- and women-owned business development.
- Achieved an 80% increase in nonwhite attendance at Movies in the Park through community partnership and more inclusive programming.
- Further diversified DGRI citizen Leadership Network to better reflect community’s diversity of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, expertise and geographic residence.
- Partnered with Government Alliance on Race and Equity to develop strategies for transforming City government operations to help achieve racial equity.
- Passed Pilot Food Truck Ordinance to expand opportunities for culinary entrepreneurs.
- Partnered with Rose Center for Public Leadership to develop strategies for achieving equity goals through new development projects.
NP is proud to have been part of the team who prepared the Grand Rapids Forward Plan, serving as an economic consultant with a focus on workforce development, retail dynamics and entrepreneurial activity.