Muskegon County launches second livability challenge

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Muskegon Channel Photo by iStock

Muskegon County is beginning its second cycle of a challenge to address livability issues in the area.

The county said it will kick off the Muskegon Community Health Innovation Region (CHIR) initiative, Livability Lab 2.0, with a virtual Zoom event from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday.

People can register at livabilitylab.com.

The 45-day cross-sector challenge will focus on community conditions and aligning efforts toward a common vision for Muskegon County. Livability Lab 2.0 will combine recent community feedback and shifting data on conditions to focus alignment and sustainability.

Organizers said as the next challenge cycle was readying for launch, the world changed significantly with the onset of COVID-19, which is why it shifted to a virtual format.

Livability Lab 1.0 launched on Sept. 10, 2019, with a 100-Day Challenge that wrapped on Jan. 23, 2020. Hundreds of community surveys and feedback set the vision for the challenge — creating a system that ensures livability for all Muskegon County residents.

Partners from Michigan State University helped outline an action-oriented process and compiled data, which was presented to over 300 attendees at the initial launch. Nineteen challenge teams were formed by residents inspired to address root causes and inequities in community conditions and work toward positive change.

The kickoff event for Livability Lab 2.0 is free and open to the public. Team members from Livability Lab 1.0 will have a chance to convene in breakout rooms, and new participants will have a chance to learn more and get involved.

Launch day agenda

  • Opening/welcome with hosts Mickey Wallace and Michael Ramsey
  • A brief round of comments from core team members
  • Special guest speakers from Muskegon County Public Health and the governor’s office
  • Highlights from recently gathered data reflecting current community conditions
  • Overview of Livability Lab action process and its application to the 2.0 challenge
  • Introduction of coaches and community convener support organizations
  • Breakouts: action team sessions, new member sessions
  • General session reconvenes, group announces target goals
  • Closing remarks/45-day challenge information

The celebration day wrap-up for the 45-day challenge is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Highlights from Livability Lab 1.0 are available in a recently released documentary that includes resident interviews and an entire listing of the 19 challenge teams and members in the end credits.

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