Since the 1970’s, the City of Norfolk has been quite disciplined in its approach to downtown planning. Every ten years, 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. And because of the community’s involvement, there is a great sense of community commitment and ownership.
Building on the success of previous plans, the 2020 Plan seeks to capitalize on the opportunity presented by Light Rail. The vast majority of downtown is within a ten-minute walk of a transit station and the stations themselves provide great opportunities for new development. With that being said, there are critical barriers to pedestrian movement in downtown, in particular Brambleton Ave., St. Paul's Blvd., Waterside Dr. and of course the Interstate.
In 2019 the City of Norfolk launched a planning process for The Downtown Update 2030. The new plan will provide strategies for keeping development, infrastructure, and services aligned with the vision for the City. The next ten years will leverage the Norfolk's strength and bring vitality to the NEON District, St. Paul’s Area, Fort Norfolk, and beyond. The final plan will be published in 2020.