Grand Rapids on a Pedestal


Finally.

In reading Grand Rapids development news over the years, you always come across Grand Rapids emulating other cities or having Grand Rapids proponents arguing that Grand Rapids needs exactly what XYZ city has.  Or if Grand Rapids gets X then we would be just ABC-ville.

For example:

Exhibit A: Urban Market – Emulating: Columbus-OH, Milwaukee,-WI, San Francisco-CA, Seattle-WA

Exhibit B: Streetcars – Emulating:  Portland-OR

Exhibit CTrader Joes & Whole Foods – Emulating:  Every other community that has one

Exhibit D: Whitewater course for the Grand River – Emulating:  South Bend-IN, Wasua-WI, Petoskey and Chesaning-MI

Exhibit EMonorail – Emulating:  North Haverbrook, Odgenville, and Brockway

Anyway Grand Rapids sheep can now become the shepherd, or the tables have finally been turned.  There is a city in the United States that is benchmarking Grand Rapids, and is actually aspiring to emulate our city.

The city is Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa, built on the Cedar River.  With a population of 128,000 Cedar Rapids is an economic hub in Iowa.  The cities have a lot of similarities besides the whole “Rapids” thing, and based on this story in the Gazette Online, Cedar Rapids aspire to have a medical district like the Medical Mile on Michigan Street that Grand Rapids developed.  I found it fascinating to see Grand Rapids actually being bench marked for a change and not the opposite.  So slow down Grand Rapids take a breath, and enjoy the view from the pedestal.  Oh and thanks for the compliment Cedar Rapids you’re making us blush.

Be sure to read the whole story here.

Any of you readers have more examples of Grand Rapids being bench marked by other communities (maybe with ArtPrize)?

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4 responses to “Grand Rapids on a Pedestal

  1. Pingback: Grand Rapids on a Pedestal | West Michigan Business Blog | Michigan

  2. Pingback: An Anthropologie Study on Grand Rapids Retail Environment | West Michigan Business Blog

  3. I wouldn’t say building rail transit in the metro area as emulating in the negative sense. Rail transit just makes sense for growing and established cities.

    • I agree that not all these are bad for Grand Rapids, but I am just tired of all the comparisons or the way the proposals are mentioned in the media. For me it always comes off as a childish interaction of “well Tommy has one, so can we please get one too Mom?” . Do you have information on a light rail plan for Grand Rapids or were you talking about the cable cars?

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