Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan Akron, Ohio
Establishing downtown as an engine for innovation, employment growth, and development
MKSK led a multidisciplinary team to create a vision for Downtown Akron that will serve to guide public and private investment for downtown and the central city area. The market-based plan will help foster a rich diversity of downtown places and spaces that will attract and support people who live, work, and play in Downtown Akron. The vision will articulate how to improve the character, identity, and connectivity of the downtown area and its surrounding neighborhoods and increase its vitality and prosperity in the areas of innovation, placemaking, housing, business attraction, and arts and entertainment.
Working together with the Downtown Akron Partnership, the City, and stakeholders, MKSK engaged the community in this important discussion through a series of in-person and online workshops to understand concerns and opportunities and to craft collaborative plans for the future of Downtown Akron. Through the course of this extensive outreach process, MKSK connected with more than 150 stakeholders, shared information, gained direction from the Stakeholder Committee, and built community consensus.
The following 10 Principles were developed following stakeholder input: 1. Focus on Main Street, 2. Build vitality through residential development, 3. Address business vacancy, 4. Create a coordinated incentive for redevelopment, 5. Make great public spaces, 6. Continue to program downtown, 7. Prioritize street design that enhances health and safety, 8. Expand on successful areas of activity, 9. Build on Akronís rich history, 10. Strengthen downtown connections with surrounding neighborhoods and institutions.
Building from the 10 planning principles, the Planning Team identified strategic recommendations and provided a framework for the continued revitalization of Downtown Akron through an action-oriented implementation matrix.
The Downtown Vision and Redevelopment Plan has been endorsed by City Council and the implementation of catalytic projects is underway.