City garners two state planning honors
The Michigan Association of Planning will honor the Grand Rapids Planning Department and its Green Grand Rapids Master Plan with separate awards at its annual conference today.
MAP will present the city’s planning director, Suzanne Schulz, with its coveted Daniel Burnham Award for the department’s innovative Green GR plan, along with its prestigious Outstanding Grassroots Initiative honor for the method that was used to create the planning document.
MAP said the department’s method didn’t just result in creating opportunities for citizen involvement, rather it helped create a group of citizen activists. The association also said, “The updated plan and the process used to create it have promoted the awareness of the benefits of good planning while providing top quality and transferability through it graphics and facilitated (the) citizen-participation process.”
The Dyer-Ives Foundation was active in the plan’s development and the organization considered the effort a complete success, as it had thousands of hours of involvement from volunteers and drew $3 million in investment.
“The Green Grand Rapids effort represents a rare example of strong, community-wide engagement that has had, and will have, significant impact on the lives of local individuals and families,” said Lee Nelson Weber, Dyer-Ives program director, in a prepared statement.
The association also is recognizing Green GR for its focus on the quality of life for city residents and the physical development of the city’s infrastructure as it relates to parks, a green environment, natural systems, connectivity, the Grand River and local food production.
MAP, the state chapter of the American Planning Association, will host its annual Planning Michigan conference today in Ann Arbor.