Runners in the Fifth Third River Bank Run pass Madcap coffee in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via fb.com
One person can make a difference. Many of us together — as diverse individuals who share a common space — can transform a city.
Our business model as a property management division is to create and foster an engaged urban community.
What I love about the process of fostering urban community is that those beliefs we hold in common are part of a bigger picture — a picture that is comprised of many unique individuals.
Our Grand Rapids community is made up of people who come from diverse professions, economic levels, backgrounds, cultures, religious and political beliefs and ideologies.
This diversity nurtures an organic and collaborative environment by leveraging all these individual traits and passions to accomplish one mission: to make our city greater.
Digital and physical divides
Modern urban populations face some unique challenges.
The rise of online communities has made it easier to be physically separated from each other.
Although digital communication gives us the ability to connect and engage with others, there is something lost when we're no longer physically connecting and engaging with others.
On the other hand, we can also share physical space without connecting or engaging at all.
Just because a shared community room in an apartment complex exists, for example, does not mean that we will use it to connect, collaborate and engage.
Foundation for community
We have found that the art of creating the urban community relies on two key elements.
1. Providing a Place where people can not only live, work and play, but also invest and believe
2. Creating opportunities for people to come together and share ideas, dreams and passions about the city where we are all stakeholders.
So, really, people create their own community. We simply lay the foundation.
When we tap in to the common belief we share with other individuals, and when we leverage that diversity of individuality to spark conversations and new ideas, Places become better. Collaboration happens.
People’s lives are made richer when community happens.