During Mayor Jeff Longwell’s news briefing on Thursday, City of Wichita officials encouraged residents to join a neighborhood rebuilding initiative to strengthen communities through revitalization, reinvestment and infill development.
The initial effort will focus on the Central Northeast neighborhood area - east of I-135 and west of Hillside between 9th Street and 13th Street - which resides in Councilwoman Lavonta Williams’ District I. A kickoff meeting is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Madison Avenue Apartments Community Room, 1004 N. Madison.
“This meeting is an opportunity for the interested public, neighborhood residents, city and elected officials, property and business owners and institutional stakeholders to discuss issues, concerns, opportunities, trends as well as new ideas and approaches on how to promote neighborhood rebuilding and reinvestment efforts,” Williams said. “Please join us for this important conversation and initiative for our City and especially the A. Price Woodard and Murdock neighborhoods.” The initiative is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. Wichita is one of 20 communities across the United States selected to participate in 2016.
Neighborhood reinvestment experts from the Renaissance Planning firm, Charlottesville, Va. will facilitate the meeting discussion. The Central Northeast area was selected as the pilot project, because it meets the opportunity area criteria outlined in the newly approved Wichita-Sedgwick County Community Investments Plan 2015-2035. Also, it is currently receiving significant reinvestment interest from such entities as Habitat for Humanity and Mennonite Housing.
“If this pilot initiative proves successful,” Williams said, ”the lessons learned will be applied to other appropriate areas and neighborhoods in the City as part of the implementation of the Wichita Urban Infill Strategy contained in the new Community Investments Plan.”
Special working sessions are also planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Downtown YMCA. These sessions will be with an invited group of participants who have expertise, experience, and leadership in the area of revitalizing neighborhoods. The group will be tasked with identifying actions and strategies to support infill development, reinvestment and revitalization. For more information, please contact City Planning Department staffer Dave Barber at (316) 268-4490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.