CHICAGO – The Jamestown Urban Design Plan has been honored with the Gold 2018 National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation from the American Planning Association (APA).
APA officials said the plan has reversed the economic decline of the city’s downtown area, “setting a new course that has attracted new jobs, community attractions and business investment.” The Jamestown Urban Design Plan is one of 16 Achievement Award recipients this year.
“Our community cares deeply about the heart of our city,” said Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, “and together with our many partners we have worked very hard to make it a place we can all be proud of. We still have work to do, but we have come a long way over the last 10 years.”
Since its adoption in 2006, the Jamestown Urban Design Plan has outlined a direction for public and philanthropic investment for Jamestown to offset economic decline as its manufacturing base has declined or relocated elsewhere. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation was formed to implement the plan and collaborate with the city and regional foundations to bring private and public capital, residents and businesses downtown.
Among the initiatives developed are the river walk trail and new parkland along the Chadakoin Riverfront connecting area neighborhoods to downtown; façade improvements on 36 downtown buildings; the planned Fall 2018 opening of the $50 million National Comedy Center which leverages the city’s heritage as the birthplace of comedienne Lucille Ball; the conversion of a vacant train station into a multi-modal transportation center; a renovated historic building that now houses 60 market-rate apartments and several restaurants; and the opening of the Jamestown Renaissance Center in a vacant department store where it holds civic and charity events.
And a next generation of downtown development is already underway, which will include a brewery and brew-pub, a 160-bed hotel, both opening in 2018, and renovation of many downtown structures. Today, the city shares a unified vision of the future and is recognized by the state of New York as a model for revitalization.
Each year, APA recognizes outstanding efforts in planning and planning leadership through its National Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards. The awards are selected through a juried process. APA’s national awards program, the profession’s highest honor, is a proud tradition established more than 50 years ago to recognize outstanding community plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts and individuals for their leadership on planning issues.