2018 Champion City

Grand Rapids, MI : 2018 Champion City

Equipping City Leaders with Data on Inequality Hotspots

  • 196,445

  • Rosalynn Bliss

  • Directly Elected Mayor

    Type of Government
  • 4 years

    Length of Term
  • Inequality

    Issue Area

The Problem

The lack of current, granular demographic data in Grand Rapids contributes to continued racial exclusion in policy decisions related to development, housing, health, employment, and environmental issues.

TheĀ Idea

The City of Grand Rapids will annually collect, analyze, and share the results of a community census through a publicly accessible dashboard, empowering city leaders with localized, actionable data on hotspots of inequality to help deploy health, housing, and other resources where they are most needed.

What Mayor Rosalynn Bliss is saying:

We are confident that our plan to develop a grassroots-led census initiative for collecting real-time data at the household and business level will advance our community goal of becoming a racially equitable city.

Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids, MI

Our Prototyping Journey

    Let's Go

  • 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 Blacks, Hispanics and Latinos in Grand Rapids because they will have a voice at the table.

    Becky Jo Glover, Director, Customer Service
  • Ideas into Action

  • One thing 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.