York plans for the future

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 17, 2005

For the City of York, the future is now and there is no better time to plan for it than the present. The city is taking a step in that direction by meeting with a representative of the Small Town Design Initiative. The City will host a town hall meeting with Initiative Director Cheryl Morgan to begin talk about a long-term plan for their city.

Amy Horst, Executive Director of Coleman Center for Arts and Culture in York, said the purpose of the meeting was to trade ideas and come up with future plans.

“Cheryl is here to show us some of the designs they have had for other small towns and the process they use,” Horst said. “They have these town hall meetings where they come up with a design for the community based on the size and assets of that community.”

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Morgan said they would look at some things that have been successful on other areas.

“The kind of work we will be doing is just going over some of the drawings we have done and the work with some of the other cities,” Morgan said. “We are just seeing where they are headed and what can be done.”

Morgan said the meetings present a chance for people to discuss the future of their town or city and decide what road is best for them.

“These town hall meetings are a great place to get together and discuss the opportunities in a town and the existing conditions of buildings and what the plans are form them,” Morgan said. “It is a really good place to get started.”

Morgan said the meetings included a survey of the town, its potential and the resources available.

“We just use the meeting as a chance to look at the resources in a town,” Morgan said. “We also listen to the concerns they have for the town and the hopes they have for it.”

Horst said after the first showing there would be another in a few weeks to put the ideas they had Friday to work.

“There will also be another meeting on Feb. 7 where they will come to York and help further the process,” Horst said. “They will try to establish a 20-year plan at that time.”

Auburn University’s Urban Studio has worked in the last six years across Alabama helping over 30 small towns and neighborhoods develop strategic master plans.

These road maps for development and revitalization build on the assets and opportunities that are uniquely associated with each community. This exhibit display’s a sampling of these project master plans and the posters that become the promotional and development tool for the realization of the master plan proposals.

The Small Town Design Initiative is premised on a strong community participation process that helps residents identify the opportunities in their community, contribute to the vision for the community’s future and make judgments about actions and priorities. The Exhibition and the Gallery Talk with the Directory of the program serves as an introduction to the larger project that will take place in August.