Last year the City commissioned a study from the prestigious Urban Land Institute (ULI) for $125,000. ULI takes on just a few such cases each year, but they were particularly interested in Clearwater’s downtown. They consider it to be the epitome of “untapped potential”.
The study was admirably impartial. lt’s hard to argue with its observations and recommendations, which is why it’s being taken so seriously by so many people. It can be the rallying point that downtown so badly needs.
If you haven’t yet read the final report (September 2014) or viewed the video of the fascinating preliminary presentation (June 2014), it’s well worth the effort.
PRESENTATION VIDEO (link) It’s fascinating to watch. It starts with an apology to those it is about to offend, and they don’t pull any punches. The video is nearly two hours long but watch the first 30 minutes no matter what.
FINAL REPORT (link) It’s 39 pages but it doesn’t take long to look through it. TheVision section is particularly important.
Implementing the strategies is going to be an ongoing process. If we want our voices to be heard and taken seriously, we’ll need to be involved every step of the way. Therefore it behooves us to be knowledgeable about the study and its recommendations and cautions. Even if you’ve read or viewed the information before, it’s worth doing it again. Enjoy!