Goal III: Transform Montgomery's Image and Quality of Place
Greater Montgomery’s commitment to restoring vitality to its community is profound. Even through the worst economic period since the Great Depression, new developments sprouted and plans were advanced downtown and throughout the community. The region’s residents wear their pride on their sleeves – this process’s input participants universally praised efforts made to improve the Montgomery area.
Yet, there is still much to be done. The work of building a place is never finished, and Greater Montgomery still faces substantial challenges, from under utilized parcels to struggling retailers. The Montgomery area must build on past successes, garnering even greater momentum. The importance of “place” can scarcely be overstated, and an increasing body of evidence suggests that it is a top priority in today’s economic development environment. Effectively improving the somewhat nebulous “quality of place” requires collaboration among a broad network of partners – no party is irrelevant. Initiatives must be varied and inclusive. The objectives and action steps that follow reflect the desires, capabilities, and opportunities related to Greater Montgomery’s place-based characteristics revealed during the research phases of this process.
This quality of place identity begins in the core of the region, downtown Montgomery. Throughout the inter-city leadership visit and stakeholder input process, community leaders and young professionals expressed a strong desire to see downtown Montgomery’s continued revitalization serve as a catalyst for overall improvements in the region. A vibrant center city represents growth and progress throughout the Montgomery area and serves as a business and activity center and destination for regional residents as well as visitors – Greater Montgomery’s “living room.”
This goal area does not imply that other parts of the region should be overlooked for development and redevelopment; rather, that the momentum of downtown Montgomery should be capitalized on and leveraged for improving the region’s quality of place.