This Action Plan showcases the work of a 100+ member team of Louisvillians committed to accelerating downtown Louisville’s recovery following 15 months of the COVID-19
pandemic, including social justice protests, both of which changed our collective lives in downtown.
On January 14, 2021, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the creation of the Downtown Revitalization Team at his annual State of the City address, laying out some of the hopes, challenges, and opportunities in the new year ahead. Mayor Fischer called on Louisvillians to reimagine, revitalize, and restore downtown to a thriving and inclusive place for residents, employers, and tourists. The Team is a diverse group of business owners, industry leaders, residents, and community partners who came together in six committees over the course of six months to tackle some of downtown’s most challenging problems.
After agreeing to a charter which guided the formation of this Action Plan, committees met at least twice a month, first in small break out groups to discuss issues ranging from public safety, vacant and underutilized office space, tourism, arts & culture, diversity, equity & inclusion, small businesses, downtown residents, and the messaging and perception of downtown. During the second monthly meetings, committee leaders shared the ideas that had emerged during committee discussion, committee goals, and the action steps needed to be taken to move from concept to reality. As the depth of work increased, so did the cross-collaboration across committees, which was anchored by the guidance of the project Steering Committee, a group of twelve dedicated community leaders.
Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood. The Downtown Revitalization Team’s guiding principle was to envision and create a downtown environment that is even better than
it was before. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) goals are critical to the process and extend through the work of the entire Action Plan, which calls upon Louisvillians to acknowledge the systemic racism in our community, and to understand what kind of changes we need to make so that everyone feels like an essential part of, and is welcome, in downtown.
The following Plan is a set of recommendations, some of which already are happening and are funded, and are indicated as such, and some of which are eligible for American Rescue Plan stimulus funds. Louisville Metro’s Recommended FY22 Budget includes $14.5 million of projects in downtown, including $8 million for Waterfront Park Phase IV. Additional city funds may be available. In addition to the city projects, the Action Plan reflects more than $13 million in other recommendations.
An advisory group will continue to work with the city and Louisville Downtown Partnership staff to focus on prioritizing and implementing recommendations as funding is secured. The aspirations and actions set in motion this year will impact generations of Louisvillians to come. As this Plan underscores, the Downtown Revitalization Team is strongly committed to ushering in a new era of downtown that is vibrant, clean, safe, equitable, and inclusive, and invites all of Louisville to be a part of this effort.