Knowledge Center

Planning, Design and Infrastructure

The urban place manager emphasizes efforts on the built environment because of the significant impacts they have on the quality of life and one’s authentic experience of a place. Every place is different; therefore, place management strategies should respond to a myriad of place-based identifiers including, the place’s specific scale, status, culture, climate, community vision, goals, and mission, keeping at the forefront considerations of sustainability and resilience.

Through numerous approaches, such as land and real estate development, zoning and land-use, streetscape improvements, transit-oriented development, multi-modal connections, sustainable infrastructure, attainable housing initiatives and historic preservation among others, place managers enhance the quality of life for all stakeholders of a place.

Opa-Locka Downtown Master Plan

September 16, 2022 Best Practice

Despite a 2016 bankruptcy, political instability, and widespread stakeholder skepticism, the Opa-locka Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) launched a 2020 Downtown Master Plan to reverse downtown’s decline. The plan started to overcome past failures by creating public/private partnerships (P3).

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Bear Street Shared Street Reconstruction

September 16, 2022 Award

The Bear Street Reconstruction project created a pedestrian-priority street in the heart of the Town of Banff. Running parallel to Banff Avenue, Bear Street is home to a mix of services. The reconstruction transformed the street into a pedestrian-friendly space where people live, shop, dine, enjoy culture and community amenities, or relax and take in the mountains. The reconstruction project has increased visitation to Bear Street and created more economic opportunity for area businesses.

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Gilbert Heritage District Design Guidelines

September 16, 2022 Award

Gilbert’s Heritage District (HD) is approximately 0.3 square miles in size, serving as the community’s downtown, entertainment district, and the cultural/historical center of the community. The intent of the HD Design Guidelines is to foster design excellence that encourages a pedestrian-oriented and adaptive environment that serves as the community’s historic living room. Gilbert initiated a review of the 2010 guidelines by holding meetings which included staff and a diverse steering

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Imagine Downtown KC 2030 Strategic Plan

September 16, 2022 Award

The Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri (DTC) had just begun a strategic planning process when COVID-19 brought things to a standstill. The events of 2020, including economic uncertainty and the elevated recognition of racial and social inequities, allowed the DTC and its partners to ask critical questions: how can we fully engage the community, and how do we ensure that the strategic plan ensures that downtown’s opportunities provide meaningful and tangible benefits for everyone?

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Lake Eola Park Master Plan

September 16, 2022 Award

Located in the core of downtown, Lake Eola Park serves as centerpiece for downtown and for Orlando. The Community Redevelopment Agency worked to master plan this valuable asset, re-envisioning it for the next 50 years. The process leading to the final master plan considered the place of the park in the context of the downtown, city, and region, along with a thorough analysis its surroundings, and an evaluation of how Lake Eola Park compares to other iconic parks throughout the country.

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Parramore Asset Stabilization Fund: New Directions in Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization

September 16, 2022 Award

In 2018, the Parramore Asset Stabilization Fund (PASF) was formed as a collaboration of three high-performing nonprofits with the goal to transform affordable rental housing into sustainable quality homes. PASF purchased 83 residential units across 44 properties in Orlando’s African American Parramore neighborhood, with a commitment to renovate units and keep rents affordable for existing tenants. While delayed due to COVID-19, the project was successfully completed by December 2021.

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Reading Downtown Strategic Plan

September 09, 2022 Best Practice

The confluence of a rich architectural legacy; vibrant downtown communities; and the advent of unparalleled change unlocked an unprecedented opportunity for downtown to again lead its region toward a more economically competitive, equitable, livable, and resilient future.

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Stop the Clutter, Save the Scooter

June 17, 2022 Presentation

E-scooters and e-bikes are here to stay. Successful shared micro-mobility programs are helping cities through COVID recovery by boosting the local economy, in addition to reducing traffic congestion and emissions and increasing transportation access and equity. However, improper parking remains an issue particularly in denser downtowns. What innovations solve this problem so that cities can maximize the benefits of micro-mobility, without suffering the clutter? 

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Welcome Back Downtown: Wayfinding & Gateway Enhancements

December 17, 2021 Presentation

Downtown Milwaukee needed to update their outdated wayfinding for Summer 2020 events and to orient visitors in 2021 as COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted. While the timelines and budgets for these signage initiatives were very different, the end results have welcomed new visitors by improving these downtown environments. Our session will discuss the process and lessons learned during these gateway and wayfinding signage projects.

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From Edge to Innovation Center: Paving the Way to Smart City

December 17, 2021 Presentation

Linking innovation and technology to place has emerged as a compelling strategy for district growth and economic development. This panel provides a retrospective from secondary markets on the rise that are fast transforming into cutting-edge innovation districts. Panelists will discuss the role that transportation, catalytic tenants, educational anchors, technology and real estate play in the creation of a smart city.

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