The optimal way to manage change and growth is through collaborative conversations that genuinely engage the diverse interests, perspectives and people present in and a part of our community.

Your voice, ideas and participation matters. Inviting and including people from all walks of life - with different experiences and perspectives - in the conversations and decision-making process is essential to build a vibrant, strong and successful city.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc utilizes a participatory approach to define community priorities, solve problems, seize opportunities and support the day-to-day work of improving Downtown Grand Rapids. We do this by regularly organizing a wide variety of forums to help citizens access relevant information, promote dialogue and interaction, deliberate on issues of public concern, design solutions, make decisions and evaluate the performance of public services.

This page outlines the many ways citizens and community organizations can plug in and participate in Downtown GR's city building movement. These meetings are open and free for anyone to attend, listen and share.

Contribute Constructively

To help make your experience additive and rewarding, here are a few tips on participating effectively.

  • Accept a share of responsibility for making the meeting work.
  • Be clear about the meeting purpose and goal. Review the agendas to see that the meeting topics match your interests. There's always a time for public comment to share new issues and ideas.
  • Determine what you want from the meeting. What do you want to contribute? What do you want to accomplish?
  • Keep those aims in mind throughout the meeting. Avoid getting off topic or introducing diversions that dilute the meetings effectiveness.
  • Always work towards constructive outcomes. Explore how to advance new ideas and achieve the goal(s) vs. spending limited time dwelling on reasons why new approaches won't work.
  • Talk straight and be honest.
  • Explore ideas and practices in a spirit of collaboration with other participants. We're all in this together and want to make the city great.
  • Provide feedback to meeting hosts and facilitators about the value of the session, what worked and how future processes can improve.