Since the 1970’s, the City of Norfolk has been quite disciplined in its approach to downtown planning. Each decade, a new planning process brings together the country’s best urban planners in collaboration with the community at large. The result is a ten-year plan that, because of a careful setting of priorities, is achievable. The plan strategically builds upon the successes of previous plans, becoming a framework for future development. Because of the community’s involvement in the process, there is a great sense of commitment and ownership in the plan.
Published in 2020, The 2030 Plan: A Vision for the Next Decade, continues this tradition. 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.
Coastal Resilience - Downtown Norfolk is extremely susceptible to flooding and sea level rise, necessitating protection, adaptability and access to the waterfront.
Slow Traffic to Improve Walkability - The plan has been developed in conjunction with a transit master plan, ensuring pedestrian, bicycle and transit travel modes are integrated into Downtown.
East-West Connections - Infrastructure improvements and new development create opportunities for pedestrian-friendly connections between the east and west sides of the Downtown area
New Development Projects - All new development should respond to the above drivers, with a focus placed on building diversity, equity, and inclusion through mixed-income residential and small business development.
Initiatives falling under the four key drivers include:
Downtown Core - reconnecting to the east and west
Waterside Drive and Boush Street - taming the decades old traffic barriers
MacArthur Center - reconceiving the catalytic development for downtown is essential