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ULI and Downtown Vision Present “Turning the Corner: Rethinking and Remaking Downtown”

May 11th, 2010 · Leave a Comment

There was a great turnout for the recent ULI program, “Turning the Corner: Rethinking and Remaking Downtown” with Downtown Vision’s executive director Terry Lorince and board member John Welch leading the discussion.

Here is an overview of a few main items discussed at the program:

  • We need to improve and activate our streets downtown
  • The last few years the focus of downtown improvement has been too spread out over too broad of an area
  • Scattered development hasn’t been very successful
  • Jacksonville is one of the largest downtowns in the country
  • The focus now will be more defined as the “core” area of downtown
  • Fifty percent of our core area is dead space with parking lots, parking garages and vacant buildings
  • By focusing on the core area, we will focus on a more walkable area where venues are connected – people need connectivity in a city
  • We need to take a holistic approach to revitalization that includes maintenance, police presence and addressing panhandlers
  • Develop a compelling downtown experience – get rid of the notion that there is nothing to do downtown
  • We need to create a unique vibe and sense of place
  • Attract artists and grow the night life
  • Engage retailers and store fronts
  • Downtown revitalization is going to take focused and ambitious leadership with a significant and dedicated revenue stream
  • Increase employment in the core – attract more businesses downtown
  • Increase more downtown residents
  • Improve the management of public and private parking resources

Why should residents of Jacksonville care about revitalizing downtown?

  • People judge a city by its downtown
  • We have fallen behind most of our peer cities

Now, what can residents of Jacksonville do to help revitalize downtown?

  • Support these efforts
  • Advocate for change
  • In the next elections, vote for candidates that have a care and concern for downtown
  • Raise the bar for downtown Jacksonville…take pride in your city!

Let us know your thoughts on revitalizing downtown below in our comments section!

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