'Think bold and think big' Fischer launches creation of 25 year city vision


by Joe Arnold


Posted on August 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 6:49 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- A journey of 25 years begins with a single tweet.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer launched Vision Louisville on Thursday, an effort to create a vision for the Louisville of 25 years from today.

"I think a lot of people are going to say, I need to think about what my legacy is going to be for the city," Fischer (D) said during a Leadership Louisville discussion before about 1000 civic leaders at the Galt House Hotel.

"When you go to any great city and you see the boulevards or public art, whatever the public infrastructure is, you always see key citizens, key families, key foundations step up."

Vision Louisville is a year-long process that will attempt to define the city's future with input from Metro Government, a planning firm based in Norway and local citizens.

"We're not going to fix government until we fix citizenship," Fischer told the luncheon crowd.  "People got to step up.  People got to make a difference instead of complaining about everything else."

Fischer encouraged the public to contribute to the discussion on www.VisionLouisville.com and via Twitter, #VisionLVille.

"It's not that important what I think it will look about," Fischer continued.  "What's important is what we think it's going to look about."

Yet, Fischer jump-started the discussion with ideas of his own.

"Maybe you see a system of car sharing lots, neighborhood solar farms so people can share resources," Fischer suggested. "Maybe you see school based community gardens everywhere - keep students busy, active, engaged all summer long."

"How about living in a part of the city in Valley Station, Fern Creek, Portland, Prospect where a park is within five minutes of everybody's home?" Fischer said. "How about a completely revitalized West Louisville, with new corporate headquarters, a western waterfront park and a housing market so hot that people are bidding as high as they can for shotgun houses?"

"We're going to have to think deep," Fischer said.  "We're going to have to take a little time off and think bold and think big."

LOUISVILLE, KY (NEWS RELEASE) -- What should Louisville look like in 25 years? That’s the question Mayor Greg Fischer posed to citizens as he announced a city effort to create a 25-year vision for Louisville.
“All great cities, from Paris to New York, have developed visions and then worked to implement them,” Fischer said. “This project will allow us to imagine the Louisville of the future – our parks, our arts, neighborhoods and public transit.”
Vision Louisville — www.visionlouisville.com — will be a year-long process that seeks to define the future of the city through a collaborative and inclusive planning process. It will attempt to lay a blueprint for economic growth and sustainability that will make Louisville competitive globally while maintaining the qualities that make the city unique.
The project is a collaborative effort between citizens, the Metro Government, and an internationally renowned architectural and planning firm based in Oslo, Norway — Space Group. Gary Bates, of Space Group, will be leading the Louisville project. He is familiar with Louisville and has done work in Lexington.
Space Group and its collaborators will seek input from citizens about their dreams and visions for Louisville through a series of public engagement efforts online, via social media, via a website and through physical workshops and forums.
The first opportunity for citizen input will be at IdeaFestival September 19 through 22, where 3D printers will be set up in the lobby of the Kentucky Center for citizens to create their own future Louisville.
This will allow citizens to watch their own ideas for Louisville’s development take form and the ideas will then be collected and used as inspiration for the planning team and the public.
Entrepreneur Matthew Barzun and business executive Maria Hampton have agreed to co-chair the vision effort.
Barzun is a founding team at CNET, was US Ambassador to Sweden, and is the chair of President Barack Obama’s re-election national fundraising effort. He and his wife, Brooke, have made a financial donation through The Community Foundation of Louisville to fund the first phase of this planning process. Hampton is the vice president and senior branch executive of the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“Our undertaking is big and bold and requires us to dig deep and to think innovatively,” Fischer said. “What does our future look like and how do we encourage growth, preservation, sustainability, authenticity, weirdness, quality of place — all the things that make Louisville special. The visioning process will challenge us to embrace what’s possible.”