Evansville Downtown Master Plan

Evansville, IN

A five to seven year master plan that serves as a road map for attracting a new generation of young talent, vitality and investment through four transformative ideas to revitalize the Downtown both economically and culturally.

The City of Evansville commissioned the team of Progressive Urban Management Associates, Rundell Ernstberger Associates, and Hafer to complete a new 5-7 year downtown plan that lays out realistic goals to revitalize Downtown economically and culturally. REA’s was responsible for the urban design and physical planning recommendations, community outreach, leading the planning charrette, and graphics. The plan builds upon previous planning efforts embracing their goals and values, as well as grassroots, community-wide visioning process — VOICE.

As part of the strategic planning process, a market assessment was conducted to help identify recommendations for public and private investments. Five key market opportunities were identified including residential, retail, office, hospitality and public space.

Out of the research arose four Transformative Ideas that will influence a new era for a thriving, mixed use downtown that is a regional and national destination. The four Transformative Ideas include revitalizing Main Street, activating the riverfront, creating a NoCo Makers District and enhancing public spaces. Thriving Main Street designates key blocks as an entertainment district to create a cluster of energy to radiate to adjacent blocks. The redesign of 4th and Main Street park as an active gathering space uses Complete Streets principles to enhance the public realm.

REA proposed improvements to the Riverfront included mixed use infill development, signature riverfront destinations, calming traffic, increasing safety, and increasing pedestrian amenities. Enhancements of park space, programming the riverfront, separating pedestrians and vehicles and using design features to create visual connections to activate and connect the Riverfront.

The creation of the NOCO Makers District was envisioned as a place to attract both start-ups and established businesses focused on creative pursuits. Improved public spaces through new wayfinding, redesign of Post Office Park, implementing complete streets, and enhancing pedestrain safety and access to increase mobility options while fostering development and investment.

Along with these ideas, came an Action Plan to ensure these ideas are implemented. The most visible part of the Action Plan is creating the Evansville Downtown Alliance. This organization is charged with creating lasting and meaningful change in Downtown Evansville and managing the effort through a recently established E.I.D.

“The Evansville Downtown Master Plan Update will help guide future development over the next five-to seven years and ensure we are on a right path for positive progress and long-term success.”

-Lloyd Winnecke, Mayor, Evansville, IN


2018 AIM Community Placemaking Award