|Bill Moyer's 12 Cities Leading the Way
Alongside notoriously green places like Portland, Oregon, Grand Rapids ranks among “12 Cities Leading the Way" in a billmoyers.com post. The rundown’s write up references “Super Greenie” himself, Mayor George Heartwell, responding to criticism of Grand Rapids as a “dying city” with counterarguments like this one: “Would a dying city have more LEED certified buildings per capita (2009) than any other American city?”
2013 Forbes: No. 7 overall “The Happiest Cities to Work in”
Among cities such as Honolulu and Virginia Beach, Grand Rapids was named 7th in the Top 10 for the happiest cities to work in. Each city was ranked on a five-point scale on ten factors that included co-worker/boss relationships, compensation, growth, work environment, job resources, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks and control (Forbes). These results were based on over 36,000 employee reviews from November 2011-2012.
2013 Forbes: Grand Rapids ranks 4th for best cities to find jobs
The human resources firm Adecco Staffing looked at the U.S. cities with the fullest employment, according to the Department of Labor, as well as internal data around job growth and demand, and then determined which areas are the best for finding a job. Here are the top 10 cities for jobs right now.
2013 Forbes: Grand Rapids list of 15 US cities with emerging downtowns.
Since the mid-1990s, the small Michigan city has drummed up billions in public-private funding. Investments have yielded the Van Andel Arena, the new $60 million home of the Grand Rapids Museum, a $220 million convention center, and $1 billion in new hospitals and new headquarters for Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine.
DDA Wins Excellence Award
The American Planning Association Michigan Chapter will honor the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) with the 2013 Planning Excellence Award for the organization's work to develop the Arena South Visioning Plan.
Mayor's Climate Protection Award
Mayor George K. Heartwell of Grand Rapids was announced as the national large city top winner in the 2012 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Walmart. Winning First Place, the City of Grand Rapids recieved $25,000, sponsored by Walmart, to pass-through to non-profit organizations that are working on sustainability and climate protection issues.
Billion Acts of Green Cities Campaign Recognition
Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green® Cities Campaign Commitment with Clinton Global Initiative features achievement of Grand Rapids in the following categories: energy efficiency, waste to energy, recycling, and green energy purchase.
Grand Rapids Ranks As #1 Place To Raise A Family
Grand Rapids has the distinction of being the best metro area in the country to raise a family in. Income may be relatively low, but the cost of living is even lower. The local school system ranks in the top third in the country. Commuting to work is a breeze. The housing foreclosure mess didn’t leave Grand Rapids unscathed, chopping about 12% off area home values over the past few years. But that’s still quite modest compared to many other places. Almost 90% of Grand Rapids’ housing stock is affordable to a family at the median income level, the seventh highest rate in the country.
2012 Governmental Award of Excellence in Urban Forestry- Arboriculture Society of Michigan
Grand Rapids, MI, was recognized by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community for its commitment to urban forestry. Grand Rapids has earned this national designation for 13 years. In addition, the City has also earned its first Tree City USA Growth Award, which recognizes that the City has made significant improvements in areas such as education and public relations, partnerships, planning and management, and tree planting and maintenance.
2012 Funding Award for $5000 to cleanup scrap tires within the community- DEQ
Scrap tire piles are a fire hazard and create breeding areas for mosquitoes. This funding will protect the health of communities. The DEQ anticipates it will help remove more than 309,000 "passenger tire equivalents," a measure used to account for different weights and sizes of tires that may be present at a cleanup site.
ICLEI Recognizes Grand Rapids for Emphasis on Climate Adaptation Planning
ICLEI highlights the City of Grand Rapids' efforts to incorporate climate adaptation in the recently amended version of the Sustainability Plan. This addition demonstrates the organization-wide commitment to reducing climate-related impacts and risks. Now the City's climate adaptation and sustainability work will be measured and reported annually.
2011 Conservation Award
Haris Alibasic, Mayor George Heartwell, and James Hurt received the Conservation Award for 2011 from Ikes Bob Stegmier and Maurie Houseman, of the Izaak Walton League of America, Dwight Lydell Chapter, for their tremendous work making Grand Rapids more sustainable. They have made huge improvements in the areas of energy conservation, recycling, and water use.
Green City Award by Business Review
The Business Review awarded the City of Grand Rapids with the Green City Award. "With the largest number of LEED-certified buildings per capita, a strong civic dedication to renewable energy and tremendous business support of green initiatives, Grand Rapids is widely considered one of the leading green cities in the world.."
Michigan Green Venue Certification
DeVos Place (pdf) and the Eberhard Center (url) at Grand Valley State University have achieved Michigan Green Venue certification from the Michigan Department of Energy Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG).
Green Venue Michigan Leaders
The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, Economic Growth (DELEG) Bureau of Energy Systems has certified the JW Marriott, Holiday Inn Hotel, and Peaches Bed and Breakfast as Green Venue Michigan Leaders.
Green Venue Michigan Stewards
The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth (DELEG) Bureau of Energy Systems has certified the DeVos Place, the Eberhard Center at GVSU and the Amway Grand Plaza as Green Venue Michigan Stewards (MI DELEG).
Fortune Magazine Recognizes Grand Rapids as A Michigan Sucess Story
Fortune magazine recognizes Grand Rapids as a Michigan Sucess Story. "It is not the kind of view you expect these days in downtrodden Michigan. From this rooftop plaza on the 17th floor of Bridgewater Place, evidence of urban renewal spreads in every direction. Directly to the south is the modern campus of Grand Valley State University, home to 11,000 students. Across the Grand River lies the sprawl of the redeveloped entertainment district, with its new arena and convention center, steps away from downtown business and government office buildings..."
#5 in the number of LEED certified buildings per capita overall in the U.S.
Grand Rapids is ranked #5 nationally in the number of LEED certified buildings per capita–this is up from 2009 when Grand Rapids ranked as #27th. To view article with 2009 information, <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/11/grand_rapids_has_most_leed_bui.html">click here.</a>
2010 Sustainable Community Award
Grand Rapids has been names the most sustainable midsize city in the U.S. by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Civic Leadership Center and Siemens Corp.
Bronze Level Bike Friendly Community
The city recently completed Phase II of the M-6 Trail a $3.3 million/9.7 mile 10 foot wide paved multi-use trail which connects with 15 mile Kent Trails system to the 45 mile Paul Henry Thornapple Trail. It also connects with the extension of the Ada trail system bridging the community of ADA with the Cascade and Forest Hills neighborhoods and adds an additional 10 miles of trail at a cost of approximately $3 million.
Quality Clean Corporate Citizen Award
Department of Environmental Quality Director Steven E. Chester announced that Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community in Grand Rapids is the first retirement community in Michigan to become a member of the Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) Program, a voluntary environmental program that recognizes environmental stewardship at Michigan's facilities.
1st LEED Public Art Museum
One of the oldest museums in the Mid-West was recently relocated to an elegant new LEED Gold certified structure, garnering accolades from art aficionados and sustainability advocates alike. Kulapat Yantrasast of why Architecture designed the new Grand Rapids Art Museum to be as beautiful as the artworks within, placing a premium on public space and ultra-efficient modern design.
Neighborhood Environmental Partnership Award
Four west Michigan businesses have received awards today from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment for their outstanding commitment to environmental community outreach. Receiving DNRE Neighborhood Environmental Partner (NEP) Awards were Pilgrim Manor, the City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant, Herman Miller and Mel Trotter Ministries.