Tampanians eager for Mayor Bob Buckhorn to reveal the details of the draft Center City Plan packed into Tampa Prep’s auditorium Tuesday night. Dozens were left with only room to stand, but their anticipation kept them on their toes through the entire presentation.
During the open house, Mayor Buckhorn mentioned the high levels of community engagement that have made this project such a success. He also explained how the Center City Plan focuses on re-centering downtown around the Hillsborough River and connecting area neighborhoods in a pedestrian, transit friendly mannerforward moves Tampa can begin making today.
Then, Pete Sechler of AECOM took the stage to dissect the plan into three main components: a unified vision, five building blocks for smart urban growth and 10 forward moves Tampa can begin making today.
Tampa’s unified vision is for the Center City to be “a community of livable places, connected people, and collaborative progress that embraces and celebrates its river and waterfront.” The five key building blocks that have emerged include a strategic focus on our underutilized waterfront, livable neighborhoods, a strong, mix-use pedestrian environment, sensible linkages between communities and an urban pattern that supports transit.
As Sechler then delved into the 10 forward moves, the crowd’s anticipation noticeably grew with the room’s silence. He opened up with a discussion on Tampa’s waterfront, citing it as a critical opportunity to change the economic fiber of Tampa, link key river places and encourage the public to invest in downtown.
But it wasn’t until Sechler unveiled the opportunity to redevelop Florida Avenue and Tampa Street that the audience’s enthusiasm became apparent. As he proposed transitioning downtown Tampa’s main arteries from one-way to two-way streets, the crowd began applauding.
We hope you’ll review the full plan here, and feel free to send any questions or comments to InVisionTampa@gmail.com.
Thanks to all who have contributed to this amazing process!