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Planning Wisconsin: Redeveloping Your Downtown

Jason Valerius, AICP | with 0 Comments

Planning Wisconsin:  Redeveloping Your Downtown

Creating and maintaining a vibrant downtown district is a continual challenge in many communities.  Planners can help communities by assessing their strengths and weaknesses and establishing the tools necessary to support a strong downtown.  Through smart design of public and private improvements in these key districts, planners can improve the economic and social well-being of neighborhoods and communities. 

Study and Visioning – What’s feasible and what’s desirable?

Market Analysis
–   Many communities have a laundry list of uses desired downtown, often including specific retailers.  A market analysis can help identify market-viable downtown uses to target for attraction and development. 

Parking Analysis, Traffic, and Transportation Plans
– Successful downtowns require safe transportation infrastructure for all users, convenient access, and smart parking management.  Evaluating a downtown’s parking needs and identifying strategies to meet and manage parking demand is crucial.  

Redevelopment Visions and Concept Plans
– Pictures help stakeholders understand and react to potential projects.  Redevelopment Visions and Concept Plans can generate enthusiasm for change and provide the basis for policy limits on redevelopment.  Sauk City, Wisconsin, situated on the banks of the Wisconsin River, adopted this redevelopment vision to set appropriate limits on the scale of redevelopment in their historic downtown.

Brownfield Site Assessment & Remediation
– Few downtown sites are clean sites.  The redevelopment process often requires the identification and remediation of site contaminants.  The City of Mauston, Wisconsin remediated two brownfields as part of its downtown revitalization plan.

In our next post on Redeveloping Your Downtown, we will focus on planning for action and implementation tools
Are you a community leader looking to enhance your community’s downtown?  Have you considered these many aspects of downtown revitalization?  We can help!  MSA’s plans have helped hundreds of communities realize their full potential.  For more information on redeveloping your downtown, contact Jason Valerius, AICP.

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