Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Grand Rapids is testing the idea of sharing more granular community data and is validating what would give users a more balanced perspective to make decisions. The city will gather feedback from development users, and through co-design sessions.
Our idea will impact the Black, Hispanic and Latino residents in Grand Rapids because they will have a voice at the table.Becky Jo Glover, Director, Customer Service
What we're discovering through testing
Normally in the planning process, public consultation comes in the form of a long report. The Grand Rapids team wanted to find out if providing accessible and relevant planning information would lead to more residents engaging with the process. They prototyped how this data could look and posted it online, so that residents could check how the proposed plans would affect their area. Sure enough, at the next planning meeting, around 150 animated residents turned up to discuss the proposed plans.
Since the initial planning meeting, the city has realized that resident’s voices had not been included in the planning process so far. The team is now running prototyping sessions with community advocates to co-create how residents can play a bigger role in the city development process.
We are trying to balance a power struggle that has been skewed for a long time.City Hall Staff
What we've learned
The overwhelming response from the communities engaged through Grand Rapids' testing highlighted that residents want to be consulted and given tools to understand the developments in their area. The Grand Rapids team developed their model to focus on supporting displaced people to remain in their area or even buy their own house.
I’ve been in the neighborhood for 8 years and although everyone in my family works, I have never been been able to think about owning a house before.Grand Rapids resident
Grand Rapids’ idea transformed into a resident driven model with a focus on shared equity affordable housing. The model is now designed to alleviate displacement, and increase equitable property ownership.