Mobile Workshops

All workshops are offered for an add-on fee (this is in addition to the conference registration rate). Tours include some form of physical activity, please dress accordingly.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

2:00 – 5:00 PM

Envision Ada – Transforming a Suburban Strip Commercial Center into an Integral Part of an Historic Village | 2.5 AICP CM | MCP | $25
Ada Township adopted Envision Ada, a business district revitalization plan, in 2013. Since plan completion, implementation has been rapid, with new street construction, demolition of a former commercial strip center, new commercial/residential/mixed use development and new civic amenities creating an attractive extension of the historic village core. A brief presentation at the Township Hall will be followed by a guided walk and Q&A session at a local brewpub.
Jim Ferro, AICP, Ada Township
Pete Lazdins, ASLA, Progressive AE
Steve Groenenboom, P.E., Moore and Bruggink, Inc.

Session materials

Viva la Avenida: Planning for a Cultural Corridor | 2.5 AICP CM | MCP | $25
Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood is on the leading edge of downtown development pressure. It is also one of Grand Rapids’ most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Join us as we explore the unique character of the corridor, grab a bite to eat at one of the many locally-owned eateries, and learn what is being done to preserve the identity and quality of life of neighborhood residents. Plaza Roosevelt isa grand-scale community development project anchored by the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ newest Spanish-immersion high school, affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, commercial development, and a bilingual pharmacy.
Amy Brower, Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association
Lynee Wells, AICP, Williams & Works

All Around Downtown, Uptown, Eastown | $20 
Join us on a trolley ride that starts in the heart of Grand Rapids’ downtown and winds its way through some of Grand Rapids funkiest areas. The tour showcases revitalized buildings and neighborhoods, historic areas, two roundabouts, thriving business areas and entertainment centers, and many other amenities that make us Grand. The tour will be led by planners who live and work in the area. Participants will have the option of visiting the Brewery Vivant at the end of the tour or strolling through several unique shops and restaurants before heading back to the Amway Grand. For those that just can’t get enough, transit tokens to downtown will be available for those interested in creating their own tour along the way.

New Urbanism in Practice 2.5 AICP CM | MCP | $25 
The New Urbanism is a design movement toward complete, compact, connected communities—but it is also a generator of ideas that transform the landscape. Communities are shaped by the movement and flow of ideas, and New Urbanism has been a particularly rich source of the currents that have directed planning and development in recent decades. In and around Grand Rapids, form-based and hybrid form-based codes have been adopted to help implement New Urbanist principles, and several recent projects and charrettes have mirrored this. Those on the bus tour will explore two areas that are governed by a strictly form-based code and have been the subject of a recent New Urbanist charrette. Participants will also visit two projects – one small infill and one larger greenfield – to explore if and how real life reflects theory.

Friday, September 21, 2018

9:00 AM – Noon

Vital Streets in Action Bike Tour | 2.5 AICP CM | MCP | Bring your own bike - $15 | Rent a bike - $25
Experience Grand Rapids Vital Streets Initiative on an interactive bicycle tour that highlights the work the City is doing to foster safety, healthy places, a vibrant economy, environmental sustainability, and diverse transportation options through implementing complete streets and green infrastructure. Explore the modal tensions that must be overcome to create a fully integrated multimodal network and learn about how you can apply a collaborative approach to bicycle safety in your communities. Bring your own bike and helmet, or rent equipment.
Landon Bartley, AICP, City of Grand Rapids
Laurel Joseph, Grand Valley Metro Council

The Modern Orchard Bus and Walking Tour | 2.5 AICP CM | MCP | $25
What does it take for a family farm to survive in the new economy? Now in its fourth generation of family owners, Robinette Apple Haus and Winery has evolved from a produce-growing farm to an “agritourism farm,” complete with bakery, cider mill, winery, corn maze and mountain bike trails. Learn from the owner, an elected township official, about what drives the local economy and the challenges of preserving farming for the next generation. Cider and donuts provided!

Explore: ArtPrize10 | $20
Art plays an integral part in forming community identity and sprouting innovation. Grand Rapid’s ArtPrize began nearly nine years ago as an experiment—a totally new event, unlike anything the world had ever seen. On this exciting bus tour, hosted by ArtPrize staff, we will view indoor and outdoor works of art, and hear from Creative Many Michigan about the success of East Lansing’s Percent for Art ordinance. Please join us and come away with ideas to take back to your community.

From Grand Rapids’ Downtown to Your Town: Idea Tour for Building Reuse | $20
Like every community in our state, Grand Rapids has some older buildings that may be due for a fresh, new use. On this tour of downtown Grand Rapids, participants will get oriented to the geographic and historic context of the area, particularly the 20th century buildings and their ongoing reuse. We’ll discuss the value of mid-20th-century resources, the significance of modernism in Michigan communities, and the use or reuse of these resources. This tour should spark some ideas of how to rejuvenate aging or underutilized buildings in your area.

2:00 – 5:00 PM

Under, Over, and All Around | 2.5 AICP CM | MCP | $25
Discover how bus, bike, and foot networks link with regional recreational amenities on this multimodal tour. You will ride through parks, on trails and across bridges that are not only used for recreation but for transportation. Experience how good planning and design allows trails to do double duty linking the bus system to neighborhoods, downtowns, and universities.
Travis Mabry, PE, City of Walker Assistant City Engineer
Conrad Venema, The Rapid
Curt TerHaar, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation

Frederik Meijer Gardens | $25
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a gem in the Grand Rapids metro area. This major cultural attraction centering around horticulture and sculpture opened in 1995 with the support of Fred and Lena Meijer. It is now known around the country and the world for the quality of its art and gardens. Join us for two guided tours, a 45-minute walking tour of the indoor gardens and a 45-minute tram tour of the outdoor gardens.

Terra Square and the Seeds of a New Downtown | $20 
Hudsonville’s Terra Square won the 2017 Community Excellence Awards for its adaptation of an old car dealership into a public market, events, and co-working space. The facility is only the first piece of Hudsonville’s efforts to regrow a downtown. This bus and walking tour will explore Terra Square as well as the city’s new living street, or “woonerf,” private mixed-use development underway nearby, and the city’s work to become a certified Redevelopment Ready Community

3:30 – 5:30 PM

Bridge Street Brews Mobile Tour | 1.5 AICP CM | MCP | $20
Enjoy tours and tastes of Grand Rapids newest brewery taprooms on the northwest side of downtown. Hear about the different types of breweries (onsite versus off-site brewing), how Grand Rapids’ regulates them, and how the regulations and processes differ from other communities throughout the state. Learn how breweries have become a catalyst for economic development in Grand Rapids. This tour includes a ride on the (free) Downtown Area Shuttle and approximately 1 mile of walking. Participants will have the option to sample 2-3 beers at each of the locations visited.
Landon Bartley, AICP, City of Grand Rapids

Saturday, September 21, 2018

9:00 AM – Noon

Farmers Markets and Food Halls as Catalysts for Business and Real Estate Development | $20
In the past decade, farmers markets have become more numerous, sophisticated, and popular across Michigan. Grand Rapids has not one but two award-winning markets—the Downtown Market and the Fulton Street Farmers Market. This tour will focus on the success these markets have enjoyed, and how they have served as catalysts for development and launching pads for numerous entrepreneurs.

Restoring the Rapids: A Tour of Grand River Restoration Efforts | $20
Grand Rapids White Water, the city of Grand Rapids, and other partners are working on a $45 million plan to restore the historic Grand River rapids in downtown. The aim of the project is to restore a more natural hydrology and ecosystem in this stretch of the river, improve fisheries, provide a unique and engaging recreational amenity for the region, and catalyze economic development. On this tour, we will hear from project leaders and see some of the planned and ongoing restoration activities.