Tuesday December 3, 2013
Armed with 80,000 ideas, city posed to create transformative projects
In a public meeting celebrating the completion of Phase 2 of Vision Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer called for the city to take bold steps to achieve a connected, creative, competitive and compassionate Louisville.
“This past summer, we set an ambitious goal to get 45,000 citizen ideas about the future of our city. We instead received 80,000,” Fischer said. “Now it’s time to prioritize key projects that will truly transform our city and make a business case for funding and building them.”
Vision Louisville, a process to develop a 25-year vision for the city’s built environment, was launched in August 2012, with three planned phases
In phase 1, the city examined trends that are happening in cities worldwide -- and considered current and future demographic data for Louisville. In phase 2, organizers gathered ideas from the public – through social media, at visionlouisville.com and through town hall meetings. Phase 3, which begins today, calls for prioritizing those projects, estimating costs and identifying funding sources to build them.
One of those sources, Fischer said, is the temporary local option sales tax, which is the city’s top priority for the 2014 state legislative session.
Local option would allow cities and counties across the state to implement up to a 1 percent sales tax -- with the money going toward specific capital projects voted on by the citizens. The tax would only be implemented if the citizens of the county vote for it and, if approved, the tax goes away once the projects are built.
The mayor said the 80,000 ideas are a good starting point to transform Louisville. “There are bold ideas, such as building a swimming lake in Portland,” he said. “There are practical ideas, such as more bike lanes. And there are far-out ideas, such as ziplines over the Ohio. What they have in common is that they all came from citizens who care deeply about the future of our city.”
The mayor said the Vision Louisville team is working with city partners to identify promising ideas in three categories:
Short-term initiatives that can be accomplished in 1-5 years.
Mid-term initiatives that will take 5 to 10 years.
Long-term initiatives that will take 25 years and beyond.
Business plans, including likely costs and potential funding sources, will be developed for those plans, the mayor said.
The city has already started pursuing two ideas that were frequently cited as short-term goals, including creating gigabit fiber internet in Louisville and developing a more robust transportation network through the Move Louisville project.
The Vision Louisville report is available at www.visionlouisville.com