Petenwell Park Improvements | Adams County, WI

Community Planning: Focus on High Quality of Life

Stephanie Brown, AICP | with 0 Comments

Community Planning: Focus on High Quality of Life

Planners help communities develop a strong, realistic vision for the future. Planners can identify strengths within the community – whether it be its downtown space, tourist attractions or historic significance - and then develop a community plan to enhance those features.

Below is an excerpt from the white paper Rural Work Force Development in the 21st Century. The case study concentrates on the City of Monticello, Illinois and their focus on high quality of life.

The City of Monticello, Illinois is located in Central Illinois just south of I-72 between the Cities of Decatur (population 76,000) and Champaign (population 83,000), about a 30-minute drive to each. Originally a farm town which later gained a railroad, Monticello has recently grown to about 5,150 people, with modest growth projected over the next several decades.
Known for its vibrant community life, it celebrates a rich history through the Railway Museum, the historic Courthouse Square, the expansive Allerton Park & Retreat Center, and Eli Airfield. Contemporary attractions include a Family Aquatic Center, walking and biking trails, and numerous festivals and celebrations that attract both residents and visitors.
While tourism has a role in the vibrancy of the community, the city’s true success is its attraction to those who choose to live and work in Monticello. The school system, boasting several West Point graduates, is a huge attraction for young families. Monticello also has a brand new emergency care facility, Kirby Hospital. This state-of-the-art facility is atypical for such a small community, but a huge asset for attracting and retaining residents. Additionally, the City recently joined forces with two other entities to bring high speed fiber to the community. This investment was not only for current and future businesses, but for residents, students, and telecommuters.
Monticello’s investment in a wide range of quality-of-life features has enabled it not only to attract residents, but also employers – it is much more than a bedroom community. Local employment is also on the rise, reinforcing Monticello’s self-reliance and success as a rural community.

Economic development plans and downtown revitalization plans work in tandem with rural workforce development plans.  Read more case studies in this free white paper download on how other communities are succeeding. Contact MSA’s Stephanie Brown for more information.

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