As one who no longer lives in Grand Rapids, I still remain interested in the politics and planning of the city. This August I'll be working on an article about urban planning in the City of Grand Rapids and the surrounding suburbs during the late 1950s and early 1960s. If anyone is interested in this topic, I'll send you an abstract at some point in the near future.
As anyone who hasn't been in a hole for the past ten years knows, there has been a great deal of development in downtown GR. While I have mixed feelings on some of the development (concentration of high tech and medical facilities in a small geographic area causes many residents to be pushed out in the name of growth, huge public funds are used for private development, etc.), on the whole I think that this growth is what has made GR keep its head above water during the decade of depression in Michigan. If anyone is interested in keeping up to date on developments through the greater Grand Rapids area, visit this blog. Chris Knape is a good reporter, and has a keen handle on some of the issues of development in Grand Rapids.