Macon’s urban core is changing in exciting ways. New lofts are attracting more Downtown residents. New retail and restaurants are repopulating storefronts, generating foot traffic and making Downtown buzz with activity. Streetscape improvements now underway on Cherry and 2nd Streets will make the urban core more walkable and beautiful, a perfect backdrop for new placemaking initiatives that will celebrate and build community within the urban core’s unique public realm.
Amidst this positive change and momentum, the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority [UDA], the City of Macon, and their partners selected Interface Studio to lead a comprehensive planning process for the urban core. The urban core includes downtown, intown neighborhoods and the College Hill Corridor which has experienced significant reinvestment over the past 5 years.
The A in MAP is for Action, now. There’s no need to wait until the plan is complete. Positive change is afoot in Macon’s urban core, and it’s that change that the Macon Action Plan builds upon. Current efforts by Macon-Bibb County elected officials and agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, institutions, and individual community members, alike, are already turning inspiration into reality, implementing ideas from previous planning efforts and introducing new ideas that the community stands behind. The Macon Action Plan will not only look toward the future but push forward the implementation of ideas along the way.
Our process helped to energize the public and identify specific solutions that address their core concerns. Improving the experience Downtown emerged as a key goal to ensure that there is plenty to do for residents and employees alike. The much beloved Heritage Trail along the River - currently disconnected from Downtown - is proposed for an expansion throughout Downtown streets. A big idea already under way thanks to a Knight Cities Challenge Grant awarded in 2016 to test the idea.
As driven as we are by our public process, the data helps to drive that public conversation. Maps...many of them...shaped our understanding of Macon and the ideas that found their way into the action plan.