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Buckhorn: Four Reasons Why Downtown Tampa Didn’t Boom

downtown_tampa_night.jpg
Downtown Tampa at night.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn kicks off his quest Wednesday night to create a master plan for turning downtown into a vibrant, bustling place where people want to live, work and play.

When asked, Buckhorn enumerated mistakes he thought were made developing the downtown area:

  1. We did not have a plan for starters.
  2. There was no passion for urban development. Instead, we encouraged urban sprawl because land was cheap.
  3. Most importantly, we haven’t figured out how we connect all the neighborhoods around downtown to each other.
  4. And, the waterfront wasn’t maximized.

“Any city that has waterfront, be it European or American, the focal point is always going to be the waterfront,” Buckhorn said when he unveiled the InVision Tampa master plan project. “I want folks in Sulphur Springs to want to come down here to the waterfront here and to be able to go to something at the performing arts center and be able to walk all the way around to Channelside.”
Reviving downtown Tampa is a big dream, he said, that will take time and require a lot of input from residents, businesses and major stakeholders in downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

So, the city hired AECOM to hold four large public forums and eight neighborhood meetings over the next three months to gather ideas and feedback on reshaping downtown.

The InVision Tampa project kickoff is Wednesday, April 11, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Downtown Tampa Hyatt, 211 North Tampa Street. Mayor Buckhorn is the featured speaker on 21st century cities for this first of four large, public forums called Knowledge Exchanges.

The next three forums are scheduled at the Tampa Convention Center May 16, May 30 and June 20 all from 6 to 8 p.m.

The smaller more interactive neighborhood meetings, called charettes, begin April 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ragan Park, 1200 E. Lake Ave.

Below is the promotional video Mayor Buckhorn recorded to get people involved in his Master Plan Project:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tivdEchfcKQ