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Wilmington 2028: A Comprehensive 10-Year Plan for the City’s Growth, Development and Priorities Has Been Completed

Post Date:05/08/2019 2:00 PM

The nearly two-year, citizen-driven comprehensive plan process produced a 10-year roadmap of government and community aspirations; Plan must now be approved by the City Planning Commission, City Council and the State

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View or download the Wilmington 2028 Comprehensive Plan here.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and City Planning and Development Director Herb Inden today announced the completion of Wilmington 2028: A Comprehensive Plan for Our City and Communities—a roadmap that guides Wilmington’s future growth and development for the next decade. The process of developing a new unified Comprehensive Plan began in August of 2017 with outreach to a variety of citizen, business and government groups. In the intervening 20 months, hundreds of additional citizens have offered their ideas regarding City priorities for overall development as well as how they would like to see their particular area of the City grow and prosper.
The goals of the 2028 Comprehensive Plan are:

  1. Strong and safe neighborhoods focusing on the physical environment including housing, community character, safety, and open space and recreation;
  2. Healthy and thriving communities focusing on the city's people, community building, health and services;
  3. Robust local economy focusing on cultivating a resilient and diverse economy;
  4. Connected city and region focusing on balanced transportation and mobility across all modes of travel;
  5. Sustainable and resilient city focusing on city infrastructure and services, resource conservation and climate readiness.

“On the night of my inauguration in January of 2017, I spoke about the importance of working together to set ambitious goals that will inspire us, and about imagining the city as we want it to be and not as it is,” said Mayor Purzycki. “This 2028 comprehensive plan embodies those thoughts from two years ago and will set a course that we, and others who will come after us, can follow. This plan will guide future development, and shape where and how public and private investment dollars can be spent to make Wilmington a stronger and more prosperous City over the next decade. I express my appreciation and thanks to all of the citizens who contributed to this plan and to the planning professionals inside and outside of City government who helped get us to this point.”
Planning and Development Director Inden said the new comprehensive planning process, which is required by state law, had the extra benefit of helping the City streamline 13 existing comprehensive plans into a single, user-friendly document that will better support continued city-wide revitalization. “This new format will help us take ownership of where we want to see our City in the future and to develop the tools to help us get there,” said Inden.
Mayor Purzycki said since the last Comprehensive Plan update in 2009, Wilmington has experienced new growth, including more recent developments such as the revitalization of the Harper-Thiel industrial site on Miller Road, the Jack Markell Pedestrian and Bike Trail linking Wilmington with the City of New Castle, the opening of the 76ers Fieldhouse in South Wilmington, and the planned REACH Riverside Purpose Built Community in Riverside to name a few. He said the Wilmington 2028 plan is an opportunity to build on these accomplishments while keeping a focus on Wilmington’s challenges such as the need for more neighborhood stabilization and increased homeownership.
With assistance from the award-winning planning firm Interface Studio, which specializes in community-driven planning processes, Wilmington was able to gather input for the new Comp Plan from over 2,500 citizens since August of 2017 through numerous participation platforms. These included interviews, public forums, focus groups, surveys, and a steering committee that met regularly to guide the process. Participants were asked to rate their overall satisfaction and desires for the future on quality of life issues like public safety, sense of community, affordability, commuting time, parks and recreation, and housing. In September 2017, a 21-member Steering Committee was named by Mayor Purzycki and Director Inden to guide the public engagement and plan development phases of the comp plan.
The public engagement process included a survey in the fall of 2017 that captured the ideas and comments of more than 2,000 participants.  There were also a series of five public meetings held throughout the City in the fall of 2017 where more than 200 citizens offered their input and ideas. Additionally, ten focus groups were convened in 2017 and 2018 to address issues such as economic development, environment, parks and recreation, and youth programs and services, during which participants made further recommendations regarding the plan. The final public meeting was held at the Children’s Museum, in October of 2018, which attracted more than 300 citizens who offered their thoughts and comments on the final plan document. 
The completed 2028 Comprehensive Plan must now be approved by the City Planning Commission, by Wilmington City Council and, finally, by the State of Delaware.

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