Three days of conceptualization and team effort culminated in Sundayâ€™s meeting to conclude the Congress of New Urbanism Legacy Project charretteÂ in Pontiac, Michigan.
Intended to reimagine Pontiacâ€™s downtown space, over 50 participants and residents met April 17Â to share and take ownership of three daysâ€™ worth of ideas, goals, and concrete planning initiatives that can make these objectives a reality.
Project team leader Galina Tachieva of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. showed a series of photos illustrating the downtownâ€™s lively past, and explained that the city has still managed to retain the bones of a thriving urban space.
With the right vision, management, and policy changes, Tachieva explained that these remnants of prosperity encased by the Woodward loop could begin to heal themselves and recover the vibrancy of their past.
The team presented a wide range of short-term, mid-term, and long-term proposals to reshape Pontiacâ€™s urban space. These included immediate fixes to lacking crosswalks and inadequate street parking, as well as future plans for a public marketplace, safe and expanded transit hubs, and eventual redevelopment of the Phoenix Center roof into a central space for leisure, exercise, and arts in the community.
Together these plans, just a brief overview of a comprehensive and wide-scope project, will help bring the kind of large-scale retail and restaurant development described by consultant Bob Gibbs, equating to $55.2 million in annual sales.
The residents who participated in Sundayâ€™s wrap-up seemed enthusiastic about the many possibilities that this project raises for the future of Pontiac. Specifically, participants engaged in discussion regarding the placement of transit stops, development of multi-use housing, and location of a public marketplace.
The diverse team of consultants and planners that worked on the project reminded those attending the wrap-up that these plans, though comprehensive, were only a departure point. From here, the residents of Pontiac will take ownership of this project, and work together throughout the next decade towards growth and vibrancy. The project, called “Revitalizing downtown Pontiac through transit-oriented development,” was lead by DPZ & Partners and had local support from Archive DS and Gibbs Planning Group.
Posted by Matt Bach on behalf of Samantha Audia. Samantha joined the Michigan Municipal League team as an intern this winter, and will graduate from the University of Michigan in the spring with a degree in Political Science and International Studies. Previously, she has worked with several political non-profits in the Washington, D.C. area, and contributed to an array of publications. Samantha calls Garden City home but currently resides in Ann Arbor, and she looks forward to blogging for the LeagueÂ throughout the winter and spring.