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Thrive Grand Rapids

Students believe that Grand Rapids is having growing pains. These pains had KCAD’s Spring 2014 Dialogue and Personality class wondering how they could help our city grow into a “grown-up” Grand Rapids? They identified that a diverse downtown population, and a walkable, livable, thriving community in the City Center—a specific section of GR as defined by the city—is the missing piece to really helping our city thrive.

The team addressed this realization in the form of their semester-long project, entitled Thrive Grand Rapids. Their work included both comprehensive research and exploration. We worked with local businesses, organized a “pop-up” (short term) event based on healthy food choices, and much more.

Through collaboration and teamwork, they finally came up with their answer: “We are proposing that the city undertake a comprehensive study of housing trends, market analysis, financial tools, and basic services. Then gather the appropriate groups to create a development toolkit that will aid in future development of the City Center.”


  • Dialogue and Personality, Spring 2014

  • TBA

  • Luc Fewer II, Emily Nagy, Aaron Porter, Rachael Fisher, Adam Salois, Heather Seto, Matthew VanSweden

  • Sonja Zoe Carmichael