With a population that has grown nearly seven percent in a decade, and an ever-developing city core with new infrastructure, Grand Rapids, Michigan, has become a destination for living and working that is still uniquely malleable, in more ways than one. The city, the second largest in Michigan—but a relatively small one in the overall Midwest—is already an established 2030 District with goals of cutting net carbon emissions in half by 2030 and entirely by 2050, and it hosts a variety of restaurants and breweries that are certified B Corporations dedicated to nourishing sustainable and inclusive economies.
Architecture plays a key part in the social and environmental wellbeing of a city, and its significance as a profession remains at its forefront for Megan Feenstra Wall, AIA, incoming president—and first woman president—at the AIA Grand Rapids Chapter, who sees a unique opportunity in Grand Rapids to harness the power of architecture and design in making equitable and healthful built environments that will continue to shape the cityscape.
“When you live in a big city, the city has already ‘become’ and you’re just a part of that and it’s exciting, but in Grand Rapids, the city is constantly in the process of becoming and it’s small enough that you can be a part of that in a way that you just can’t in other places,” Feenstra Wall said.
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