Wichita plan helps bring revitalization
Downtown Wichita has had $372 million in development in since 2010, with another $112 million underway or about to break ground in 2013, according to a report in the current issue of Better! Cities & Towns. Population of the 800-acre downtown is expected to more than double by the middle of this decade. Wichita, not a “creative class” mecca, is seeing many of the same trends that downtowns are experiencing nationally with a rise in demand and revitalization. Prior to the recent activity, Wichita’s downtown had “epicenters of vitality, but they weren’t connected,” says Jeff Fluhr, president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation. The city, under mayor Carl Brewer, hired Goody Clancy to create a downtown plan and brought in market experts to get a precise picture of the development potential. Key investments made in connection with the plan were streetscape improvements, conversion of one way streets to two way, planting of street trees, traffic signalization, and a parking garage, Fluhr says.
For more in-depth coverage:
• Subscribe to Better! Cities & Towns to read all of the articles (print+online) on implementation of greener, stronger, cities and towns.
• Get the April-May 2013 issue. Topics: Transit sheds hold their value, Market responsive form-based codes, Why retail design is important, Return of the greenfield TND?, Downtown Wichita, Mobile plans resurgence, Baltimore’s 20-Minute neighborhoods, Where the market is heading, Value of low-density commercial buildings, Promoting New Urbanism through roadway design, Form-based code assessment, Review: Building the New Urbanism
• Get New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide, packed with more than 800 informative photos, plans, tables, and other illustrations, this book is the best single guide to implementing better cities and towns.