On Tuesday, after four years of planning and over 200 public meetings, the Big Picture Master Plan for the City of Huntsville is revealed. Mayor Tommy Battle presented Huntsville's growth plan for the next 5, 10 and 15 years.
An online website is available, which highlights six core principles the public wants the city to improve on. This website, along with the plan, is ever changing. City leaders stressed that continuous input on the plan is key to making it work in a way that a larger majority of residents can enjoy. The website presents concrete steps and lists plans of action the city will take. When an event is done, it will be checked off on the website.
The master plan focuses on multiple aspects of growth in the city from economic growth, both neighborhood and commercial development, the addition of more parks and greenways and transportation changes. Creating a more connected community, expanding on the sustainable economy, designing a mobile transportation network, improving education, supporting local arts and culture and developing healthy and active neighborhoods were all topics discussed Tuesday morning.
Mayor Battle said specific changes people want to see are in road conditions, increasing walkability downtown and improving education from kindergarten to post-grad.
In August, the city held an open transportation forum where people could vote on what changes they would like to see in the future. With many new businesses, restaurants, and hotels coming to Huntsville, the city knows there needs to be a change to public transit.
The city hired a consulting firm to conduct a 9-month study with the findings being considered for the 5-year plan. The city is planning to add a new greenway system and new bike paths while focusing on making downtown safer for pedestrians.
"The big picture of today is not the same picture that we will have in 10 years and 20 years and 30 years, but it always gives us a plan on how to move forward," Battle said.