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The Heart of a Community

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The Heart of a Community.

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Every community is unique, yet many of the issues facing communities, be they large or small, are remarkably similar. The urban centre of every community should be a reflection of pride and attitudes towards itself and, in a vibrant community, this centre should be active and alive. To get there, a master vision that looks beyond the design and into the heart of a community is critical to its long term success.


Urban Centre Revitalization

How did we get here?

  • Declining infrastructure.
  • The struggle for the smaller community’s ability to attract and maintain residents and businesses.
  • Making smaller communities more attractive to a younger demographic.
  • Attracting and keeping tourists interest.

And what can we do?

  • Piggyback infrastructure projects with urban beautification projects.
  • Celebrate our uniqueness by showcasing “who we are”.
  • Attracting activity and life to our urban centre with new public amenities.
  • Prepare a vision and a way to achieve it.

City Hall Courtyard

  • Beautification of Public Space.
  • Necessary Infrastructure Improvement.
  • Greening of Downtown.

The Forks Skate Plaza

  • A commitment to youth.
  • Adding activity to the urban centre.

French Quarter Master Plan

  • A phased-in approach to revitalization.
  • Economic Re-development.
  • Urban Centre Beautification.

Waterfront Drive

  • Encouraging Economic Development.
  • Improving Local Infrastructure.
  • Improving Safety.

Urban Centre Revitalization

The Process

1. Determine the community’s goal(s)

2. Inventory the community opportunities and constraints

3. Identify “who we are” as a community

NOTE: This process is definitely NOT linear


Urban Centre Revitalization

The Goals

  • Attract new investment (residential, commercial, industrial)
  • Attract tourism.
  • Improve Community Pride.
  • Maintain and build on existing population.
  • Reduce crime and other negative attributes.
  • Improve infrastructure.
  • Provide community infrastructure (green space, playgrounds, etc…)
  • Improve quality of life for residents.
  • Provide opportunities for local youth.
  • Celebrate heritage/culture/identity.
  • and much more…

Urban Centre Revitalization

The Goals

  • Waterfront Drive
  • Encouraging Economic Development.
  • Improving Local Infrastructure.
  • Improving Safety.
  • Take advantage of Waterfront Property.

Urban Centre Revitalization

Opportunities and Constraints

  • Historic Resources.
  • Commercial Resources.
  • Existing Land Use.
  • Land Ownership.
  • Development Activity.
  • Safety Issues.
  • Community Needs.
  • Events Programming.
  • etc…

Urban Centre Revitalization

Opportunities and Constraints

  • Waterfront Drive
  • Potential development conflicts.
  • Safety issues.
  • Infrastructure survey.

Urban Centre Revitalization

Who We Are

  • History/Heritage of Community.
  • Cultural heritage of Community.
  • Established traditions.
  • Natural Landscape.
  • Existing Land Use.
  • Home of the World’s Largest _____
  • etc…

Urban Centre Revitalization

Who We Are

  • Waterfront Drive
  • Celebrate River History.
  • Working Waterfront.
  • Potential Development Opportunities.
  • Exchange District Historical Site.

Urban Centre Revitalization

The Master Plan

  • The culmination of looking into “who we are” and “what we want to be”.
  • A long term plan that identifies projects, budgets and goals.
  • A vision for the future of the community.
  • Raises the enthusiasm and interest in the community.

Urban Centre Revitalization

What Next?

  • Determine priorities based on timing, available money, etc…
  • Fundraise (Grants, Corporate sponsorship, sweat equity, etc…)
  • Maintain momentum, physical changes can affect overall community buy-in.
  • Look at opportunities to provide beautification possibilities with day to day infrastructure requirements.
  • Solicit for government support.