11 top ten lists for Traverse City to make by 2025

Traverse City has made a fair share of top ten lists the past few years. Some deserved, others more regional than city focused, and some obvious marketing ploys. Recently, I’ve asked GH4TC campaign committee members and other city residents, some through our door to door efforts, what top ten list they’d like to see Traverse City, the city proper, be listed on by 2025.

The list below is an amalgamation of the comments I’ve received so far.

By 2025, Traverse City will be recognized in a Top Ten list for:

  1. Accessible & Affordable Housing: TC will be a model of accessibility in every neighborhood — including downtown– for diverse wage earners, ages, and abilities.
  2. Engaged Citizenry: Rewarded not only for a 75% average voter turnout, but as a model for using technology for inclusive, meaningful civic engagement.
  3. Walkable & Bikeable Towns: The leading indicator will be that 45% of students who live in the City walk or bike to school as their primary means of getting to school. In addition, 35% of downtown employees will arrive by means other than driving alone.
  4. Composted Waste Per Capita: Carter’s Compost expands to a city-wide service with a focus on restaurants, because “A real foodie town doesn’t waste its scraps.
  5. Public Safety: Low crime & zero traffic fatalities achieved through education, walking police program, and design of our public spaces. Revamped major corridors recognized for mixed use, multi-modal design that achieve enhanced community identity and interconnection.
  6. Recreational Opportunities & Access to Natural Areas: 90% of population will live within 1/4 mile of a universally accessible park or natural area. The City will be nationally recognized for leading design in reestablishing an active water based corridor from the Brown Bridge Quiet Area, through town, and into West Bay.
  7. Healthy & Active Lifestyles: Through a collaborative effort with area businesses and organizations, 80% of City residents report walking a minimum of 250 minutes per week. As a City, we rank first in the state in leading health indexes.
  8. Community Gardens: 90% of the City’s population lives within 1/2 mile of a community garden and food grown within the City limits represents 10% of food consumed.
  9. Low Impact Developments: Zero unfiltered storm water discharge into the City’s waterways and the largest per capita green roofs in the Midwest. The City’s green streets, green city program is acclaimed as a model for other small towns.
  10. Energy Efficiency: Awarded for a joint public and private 35% reduction in energy use from the baseline year of 2011. In addition, reduced annual vehicle miles driven and more efficient intersection design result in a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions.
  11. Small community, big start-up: A wave of micro businesses working globally continue to attract new investment. “Why live in Chicago, when you can live 5 minutes from the bay?”

What top ten list do you see a strong Traverse City achieving?


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