The Downtown Plan 2030 continues Norfolk’s 50-year old tradition of using physical planning as a primary tool for economic development. As in the previous five updates, Synergy — using every project to create another — will continue to be the Downtown Plan’s driving force. Public investment will be used strategically to catalyze private development to create vibrant urban spaces and resilient districts.
The key drivers for the 2030 update are:
- Coastal Resilience: In response to sea level rise, green infrastructure will provide water management and create beautiful urban spaces and amenities for Downtown and adjacent communities.
- Slow Traffic to Improve Walkability: Improving facilities for walking, bicycling, and taking transit will improve safety and create more freedom of travel options Downtown.
- East-West Connections: Infrastructure improvements and new development will create pedestrian-friendly connections between the east and west sides of the Downtown area.
- New Development: will be encouraged to contribute to the character of urban spaces by providing active uses that animate the public spaces. It should include affordable housing and opportunities for small businesses to attract a more diverse market. Public art should be encouraged to enhance Norfolk’s Placemaking.
Previous updates have focused on revitalizing Downtown’s core by connecting it with strengths in Freemason and the Waterfront. This update will rely on Downtown’s success to reach across barriers and revitalize adjacent areas, including communities east of St. Paul’s Boulevard, the Harbor Park waterfront, the NEON District and Fort Norfolk.