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Report on urban sustainability highlights Flint and Grand Rapids

Steven Depolo
Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids and Flint are both in the spotlight in a new reporton the sustainability of cities.

Researchers with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine looked at nine cities, including New York and Vancouver. All of them have sustainability plans in place.

Linda Katehi chairs the committee that wrote the report.

“Grand Rapids showed an example of a city that has made substantial progress, and Flint shows the example of a post-industrial city that has gone through substantial challenges, but also has the potential for progress moving forward,” she says.

For example, she says Flint can do a lot more with urban farming.

"They can develop the urban agriculture concept and be sustainable in feeding the population," she says.

Katehi says one of the biggest challenges cities often face is a lack of support from state governments.

“You cannot sustain your actions when it comes to sustainability and improving quality of life unless there are policies that are implemented to help the local governments,” she says.

She says that includes investing in infrastructure and addressing social inequality.

Rebecca Williams is senior editor in the newsroom, where she edits stories and helps guide news coverage.
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