They came in singles, pairs, families, friends, co-workers, constituents and concerned citizens. The Vision-to-Action (V2A) for the re-boot of the Fairbanks downtown plan was an evening filled with energy and promise. And it started with a broken promise - the Vision Fairbanks downtown plan that the Fairbanks assembly rescinded in July.
Borough Mayor Karl Kassel and city Mayor Jim Matherly welcomed some 130 people – split in tables of ten, and who spent their evening diligently and earnestly discussing how their new downtown plan should guide growth for the next decades, including the redevelopment of many underutilized sites and brownfields.
The participants, most of whom work, live, shop or visit downtown, consider it as a “work in progress”. The V2A started with series of polling questions, which served as kindling for their ideas of how downtown can improve through more activities, attractions, services, housing, infrastructure and other features important to their community. The borough plans to host several more workshops for a planning process that will take up to a year. Many participants stuck it out to the better end. The evening ended ominously – the northern lights appeared earlier than usual – unusual so soon after a Fall sunset.
Earlier in the day, with CCLR’s partner, Fregonese Associates, the Downtown Fairbanks Association gave a walking tour of downtown and offered a listening session with downtown businesses and property owners.
In the afternoon, a smaller group went back to school – the Old School – which is now the Fairbanks City Hall, to learn about the brownfields programs of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and technical assistance from CCLR, who jointly hope to be delivering those services in the future to the fair city of Fairbanks and surrounding communities.
The V2A workshop was conducted by CCLR under a grant from the US EPA brownfields program. Cash and in-kind contributions were also received from the Downtown Association of Fairbanks, the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the City of Fairbanks.
Click here for the presentation
Explore pictures from the Fairbanks workshop