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Urban Innovation Exchange: The sustainable projects transforming our communities

In the Urban Innovation Exchange series, Editor Matthew Russell highlights the people and projects transforming West Michigan through sustainable efforts. From education to city building to recycling, these are the leaders making change in our communities.

UIX materials

UIX: Turning trash into money is going to take a community effort

Millions of dollars are being thrown away every year, in the form of waste left at the local landfill. It's a revenue stream that some are managing to take advantage of, and Kent County is hoping others take notice.

1349 Lake Drive SE, Sondag's Pastries in 1944

Neighborhoods of GR: Eastown a hip, connected community

Diverse. Hipster haven. Former streetcar through fair. Eastown, as one of the oldest established neighborhoods in GR, is an ever-evolving, tight knit community with a rich history explored in this edition of Neighborhoods of GR.

Haris Aibasic

UIX: Haris Alibašic keeps sustainable growth on GR's horizon

More than qualified to direct the city's Office of Energy and Sustainability, Haris Alibašic has his hands in many other projects as well. He manages the state and federal legislative affairs for the city, is actively involved with the  Bosnian American community, and as a member of the Grand Rapids 2030 District Leadership Council, is reducing greenhouse  gases in downtown Grand Rapids.

Jerry Zandstra

From seminary to STEM: Local pastor heads up huge education project at Steelcase pyramid

Local businessman, educator and seminary graduate Jerry Zandstra is keeping busy on the heels of a November announcement of his company’s pending acquisition of the Steelcase pyramid, which he plans to turn into a groundbreaking STEM education hub.
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