March 14th, 2022

The Right Place will solicit potential projects for MEDC RAP Program

The Right Place will solicit potential projects from a 13-county area, evaluate and assemble this list into a public placemaking projects proposal, presenting them in a regional application to the MEDC RAP Program.

West Michigan Greater Grand Rapids

Working alongside our municipal partners throughout the region, The Right Place will solicit potential projects from a 13-county area, assemble and evaluate this list into a public placemaking projects proposal, presenting them in a regional application to the MEDC RAP Program.

Reactivating Spaces

Every community has underutilized, vacant, or abandoned spaces in need of reactivation. The concept behind this proposal is to proactively re-engage those spaces in communities - the forgotten corridors, the sorely underutilized downtown areas, even community parks that have been overlooked for years. It's time to breathe new post-COVID life into these spaces, creating public outdoor destinations and enhancing a community's sense of place.

When looking at ways to improve cities, planners and developers have traditionally focused on the longer-term permanent solutions to revitalize urban spaces. There is often a sentiment that an urban space that is not performing will be better once a larger project is completed. The qualities and experience of the place in the present tense—in the here and the now—is cast aside with a distant goal that the space will be better at some point in the future. However, compelling this vision may be, it frequently leaves the space in consideration empty or deserted until the future project gets underway.

This proposal seeks to address that gap. While the funding for this program may not be able to support that long term project identified above (usually several millions to complete), this proposal provides immediate funding to permanently activate underutilized and vacant spaces, providing the funding to both complete smaller projects as well as phases of a multi-phase long-term vision.

Types of Projects

The types of projects we are seeking could include, but are not limited to:

  • Activation of underutilized alleyways,
  • Outdoor permanent seating and gathering spaces,
  • Outdoor music and performance venue spaces,
  • Reactivation of underutilized parks (i.e. fitness paths, skate parks, permanent gathering spaces, etc.)
  • Public art installations,
  • River, lake, and waterway engagement sites,
  • Multimodal transportation nodes,
  • Publicly-accessible, attractive & innovative means for pop-up retail / food sales (i.e. food truck court, makers market pavilion, etc.)

RAP Program Specific Requirements

In the RAP Program guidelines for placemaking projects, the following requirements must be met:

  • All projects months demonstrate a response to the negative public health and/or economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • or, aid to the tourism travel and hospitality industries.
    • or, benefit households or communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • Preferred projects will be located in a qualified census track.
  • Must include capital expenditures, not just planning.
  • Project must be planned and ready to execute.
  • Project must be in alignment with the community's vision and development priorities.
  • The project must have a long-term maintenance plan.
  • The project must be available to all public citizens, and not for the benefit of a private development.
  • Projects should be geographically distributed throughout the region.



Tim Mroz

Senior Vice President, Community Development

As Senior Vice President of Community Development for The Right Place, Tim is responsible for leading The Right Place’s place-based strategy and work. His focus areas include community development pillars such as smart growth planning, infrastructure & transportation, community leadership & engagement, placemaking, transformational site redevelopment and more.

Full Bio