Over the last year, JRC has been stewarding an update to the Jamestown Urban Design Plan, Jamestown 2.0. A draft framework is now ready for Jamestown’s feedback, comments, and questions, included below as well as in the uploaded presentation. The draft framework is also on view at James Prendergast Library, 509 Cherry Street. Comments can be emailed to Pete@jamestownrenaissance.org to be incorporated as the draft plan is developed over the next two months.
Jamestown is a small city with a big heart and a bold plan for our downtown. Our vision is clear: to re-establish downtown as a vital destination, an economic engine for the region, and a place that makes our community proud.
Bold plans are not something new for us. In 2006, governmental, civic, foundation, and community partners came together to shape the Jamestown Urban Design Plan to guide downtown initiatives. The legacy of that plan is transformation of the downtown riverfront as a community destination, creation of the National Comedy Center as a world-class attraction, renewed optimism about downtown’s future, and increased private sector investment. Jamestown’s success has earned national attention. In 2018, the American Planning Association recognized the City’s progress when awarding it the Gold 2018 National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation, the smallest city in the nation to be recognized with a national award.
While success has been hard won through the efforts of many individuals and organizations, downtown Jamestown still has a significant way to go to fully realize its potential. Disinvestment from Jamestown’s downtown was cumulative over several decades. It will likewise take sustained effort over the longer term to reach a full renaissance. The next ten years will be crucial to sustaining downtown’s current positive momentum. Our new plan, entitled Urban Design Plan 2.0, builds on many of the themes that have guided change over the last 10 years, combined with new opportunities that are now possible because of recent successes. The guiding themes of our new plan are fourfold:
- Continue the renewal of our Chadakoin Riverfront as a community jewel— reconnecting downtown to the Outlet and the Lake
- Make downtown more walkable and better connected—transforming Washington Street into an attractive community gateway and continuing to reinvest in downtown buildings
- Recognize the potential of a growing Health and Wellness District as a vital new component of the downtown landscape—extending the Riverwalk and improving streetscape along Foote Avenue, which connect healthcare and community-serving uses to each other and the rest of downtown
- Expand on the programs and events that draw our community downtown— combining fun, free and family activities that appeal to residents, downtown workers, and visitors.
Just like the successful Urban Design Plan of 2006, this plan has been shaped with extensive involvement of the Jamestown community. Over 70 Jamestown residents have helped develop Jamestown 2.0 through a robust public engagement process including public meetings, interviews, walking tours, and a happy hour. Public involvement is continuing – if you have any comments, questions, or other feedback about the draft framework for Jamestown 2.0, please email Pete@jamestownrenaissance.org.
Downtown’s success is so important to the success of our entire community and region. We are confident that we have the vision and energy to move forward.