High Point Residents Invited to Dream Big
Residents of High Point are being asked to dream big for the future, starting with a series of discussions this week.
The Miami-based architectural and city planning firm Duany Plater-Zyberk will lead the charrettes that begin Wednesday and run through May 15th. Wendy Fuscoe, Executive Director of The City Project, says the end result will be a master plan that weaves together the downtown showroom district, Uptowne and High Point University.
“We have five lanes going north-south and four lanes going east-west, and we don’t have any areas that really are pedestrian friendly, so this project will work toward the creation of those areas,” she says. “Our downtown functions as a trade show twice a year, and because of that, we don’t have an area that functions as that gathering place, that downtown place for High Point. So this project will look at creating that area in High Point.”
The City Project grew out of the High Point Core City Plan in 2008, which focused on the uptown area. But Fuscoe says there seemed to be a real appetite for broader change. The process is being driven forward by a group of some 100 investors who have raised more than $410,000 to bring Architect Andres Duany and his team to High Point to develop the master plan and the strategy for its implementation. City Council has agreed to provide $50,000 to cover additional expenses.
Aaron Clinard, chairman of The City Project, says the master plan will be about more than amenities. “Everybody says shops and restaurants, walk-ability and gathering places, but it’s the vibrancy, it’s the feeling that this community is alive and well instead of a sleepy mill town,” he says. “It’s the economy that only has two peaks a year where we have vibrancy, what we want is that same feeling all year round. And in general, that’s what the citizens want, and that’s why we’ve had so much energy behind this campaign.”
Clinard says while the charrette process will provide the vision for the future, the secret will be in how High Point implements and sustains it in coming years.