Vann Joines is our Resident Downtown Prophet; he always explains things in the language of possibilities. Don’t be surprised if the revitalization folks in town follow him off the end of a bridge because he has bewitched everyone with his expertise and vision for the future. I am one of his pupils learning the vocabulary of urban renewal. Understanding the need for Beal Street Square, and how it fits into the puzzle, is so COOL, as my generation once mouthed; I can’t imagine you won’t find it COOL too.
Vann explains, “Strong housing investments are what make downtown redevelopment sustainable long term because if more people live in walking distance to downtown, businesses will follow those people, and downtown will thrive again.” We know that Capital Broadcasting Company is redeveloping the Mill accordingly. The Mill Village revival is fantastic.
The concept referred to as ‘walkable neighborhoods’ is much more than the availability of sidewalks. It is an understanding of pathways for creating safe places to live, providing and revitalizing workforce housing, and protecting the environment. Renewal experts have determined that the revival of surrounding neighborhoods to downtown core areas are essential to any revitalization process. Hence Beal Street Square in the Happy Hill Neighborhood. Read this earlier post about the ground breaking.
One unique neighborhood at a time, a puzzle piece at a time, we have the planning and implementation of comprehensive projects like Beal Street Square, an integrated approach to revitalization that includes commercial, retail/institutional, residential/mixed use, streets, and parks development. Part of the plan is to provide places where employees want to live who come here to work. Building strong neighborhoods walkable to downtown is another banner to lift on high. As we grow a population in walking distance to downtown, businesses will benefit from daily dollars being spent during the workday and afterwork. Strong housing investments are what make downtown redevelopment sustainable long term.
Walkable neighborhoods are sparking the revival of communities as great places to live, work and play — walkable, energy-efficient, culturally dynamic and integrated in race and class. You know what I have said in the past….in the words of Tinker Bell, clap your hands and BELIEVE.