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  • Fresno has undertaken an ambitious planning process to update its General Plan with policies designed to significantly increase infill development in the city’s Downtown and urban core. City planners are currently developing the implementation strategies for the Fresno General Plan Update that will achieve these results.SC2 is providing TA (Task Force) to IMPLEMENT GP Update
  • All projections are over 20 years – the horizon of the General Plan Update.
  • SC2 is organized around place. This organizing principle gave federal employees the unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the multiple local and federal planning efforts and development projects underway in Fresno.The SC2 team had one of the only big picture views of all the efforts impacting downtown Fresno to identify gaps.The team’s knowledge of place helped us figure out how various investments were related to each other and should ideally inform each other.Through intense cross-agency collaboration of SC2, we were able to break down federal silos and not view our own agency’s work and investments in a vacuum; increase chances of having a transformative impact.
  • DOT grant for env review/preliminary engineering.
  • SC2 identified a non-federal resource for the City of Fresno and provided key technical assistance to develop a project that was selected by the American Architectural Foundation’s Sustainable Cities Design Academy (SCDA). The SCDA provided an all expenses paid leadership development and technical assistance over an intensive three-day workshop in April 2012 to a public-private project team from Fresno. The Fresno team focused on developing the Mariposa Corridor, which connects the proposed high speed rail station with Downtown's Fulton Mall and a planned downtown Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station. The Fresno team consisted of representatives from the City's Downtown & Community Revitalization Department, the City Department of Public Works, the County Economic Opportunities Commission, and a private developer with ownership and development interests in the project area. Several ideas were generated and embraced by the project team related to enhancing plazas, improved lighting, expanding use of strategies for extending urban design themes. Numerous short and long term strategies for developing the corridor were proposed and the ideas are being considered in the high speed rail station area planning, BRT planning, and in grant proposals the City is developing.By helping the City gain access to this type of resource, it can act more boldly on short-term opportunities to revitalize downtown.
  • Bus Livability Grant
  • $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “Our Town” programWork with local arts organizations and downtown stakeholders to invigorate Mariposa Plaza as the central destination and gathering place in downtown Fresno.The “Mariposa Plaza Activation Project” will provide arts and landscape design improvements to the public plaza and stage area at the intersection of Mariposa and Fulton. Improvements will make cultural gatherings and performances more enjoyable to attend and easier and less expensive to produce. Create a more inviting and useable public space for all users to enjoy on a daily basis.
  • Ensuring federal government leads by example and explores Downtown locations.2 federal agencies have signed leases on the Mall, breathing life into old buildings that had lied vacant.
  • EPA funded, administered, and delivered a report to the City of Fresno on opportunities for the City to more deeply engage local anchor institutions, such as educational and medical institutions, in the revitalization of Downtown Fresno.Such a strategy not only results in environmental benefits as Greenfield development is slowed, but can drive much needed economic development in distressed cities like Fresno. EPA report provided the City with policy options to generate investment Downtown, while leveraging the physical and infrastructure improvements the City is planning for Downtown.Mayor is standing up a Presidents’ Council with peer exchange to Cleveland (University Circle).If not for SC2, Mayor would not be trying to leverage some great local anchor institution assets for revitalization.
  • Previous alignment did not touch the Fulton Mall or provide a convenient connection to the future site of Fresno’s High Speed Rail Station, which is 2 blocks from the Mall.FAX created an alignment based on ridership data from 2008, the year of a BRT master plan for Fresno, without taking into account the City’s plans for downtown and the potential impacts of those plans to future ridership or of the role that the BRT could plan in supporting downtown revitalization.
  • Alignment based on BRT master plan study done in 2008Fulton Mall had low ridership at that timeFulton Corridor Plan and Downtown Neighborhood planning efforts initiated in 2009BRT project managed by City’s transit agency, FAXFCSP and DNCP led by Mayor’s Office
  • -TA Contracts and Peer Exchange (BRT)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) – Fresno S C O T T S T O L L M A N E P A A U G U S T 2 6 , 2 0 1 3
    • 2. Where is Fresno, again?
    • 3. SC2 Fresno Team  Environmental Protection Agency  Department of Housing & Urban Development  Department of Transportation  Department of Agriculture – Rural Development  Department of Commerce – EDA  Department of Health & Human Services  Department of Energy (CIO)  Department of Labor  General Services Administration  Small Business Administration  Corporation for National and Community Service  White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • 4. SC2 Fresno: Focus Areas  Downtown Revitalization (EPA, DOT, HUD, CNCS)  Business Development (SBA, MBDA, GSA, USDA)  Economic Development & Innovation (USDA, DOE, CNCS, DOC-EDA)  High Speed Rail (EPA, DOT, HUD, CNCS)  Transportation (DOT, EPA)  Land Use Planning (EPA, HUD, State of California)  Neighborhood Revitalization/Housing (HUD, HHS, EPA, USDA, CNCS)  Homelessness (HUD, HHS)
    • 5. Projected Benefits of the “Smart Growth” General Plan Alternative as Compared to Continuing Existing Growth Trends  19% reduction in GHG emissions from transportation and buildings  31% reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT  32% reduction in public health cost: Saves $13.8 million in health care costs due to reduced air-pollution related illnesses in 2035.  26% reduction in water consumed for new households: Enough water to serve 7,500 homes.  33% reduction in infrastructure costs  11% reduction in building energy use  53% reduction in land consumption (among the most productive agricultural land in the U.S.): Nearly 10 square miles of land  26% reduction in costs to households, including fuel and auto, energy, and water costs: Saves households an average of $1,240 a year from reduced auto fuel and utility bills.
    • 6. • The power of place • Big picture view • Connect the dots • Maximize investments
    • 7. Downtown Revitalization
    • 8. Downtown Revitalization
    • 9. 11
    • 10. Downtown economic challenges Economic indicator Citywide or regional Downtown Fulton Mall Office vacancy rate 15.8% 12.7% 46.1% Office lease rate per s.f. per month $1.68 $1.41 (regional avg. – $0.27) $1.03 (regional avg. – $0.65) Major retail vacancy rate 11.0% 11.2% 34.9% Taxable sales per s.f. per year $274 $203* (citywide avg. – $71) $79 (citywide avg. – $195) Major historic building vacancy N/A 35% 71%
    • 11. Mariposa Corridor
    • 12. Mariposa Corridor
    • 13. Mariposa Corridor
    • 14. Mariposa Corridor
    • 15. Downtown Revitalization – Mariposa Plaza
    • 16. Downtown Revitalization - Mariposa Plaza
    • 17. Downtown Revitalization  Federal agency leases
    • 18. UW Tacoma Health Village, Orlando FL Downtown Revitalization  Anchor Institutions
    • 19. Fresno Kings Canyon / Blackstone Bus Rapid Transit Project
    • 20. Fresno Kings Canyon / Blackstone Bus Rapid Transit Project Previous Alignment (pre-April 2012)
    • 21. ALIGNMENTS Previous HSR STATION Fresno Kings Canyon / Blackstone Bus Rapid Transit Project
    • 22. ALIGNMENTS Current Previous HSR STATION Fresno Kings Canyon / Blackstone Bus Rapid Transit Project
    • 23. Formula for Realignment of BRT  Familiarity of federal staff with local planning efforts.  Importance of having single FTA Planner involved in all Fresno-related efforts.  Confidence of FTA Planner to hold firm on importance of realignment, even with the possibility of schedule delays.  Support for realignment by FTA Region 9 leadership.  Direct line of communication between federal government and Mayor’s Office via SC2.  Willingness of SC2 Team Lead to communicate concerns expressed by FTA about the original alignment to Mayor’s Office.  Continued monitoring by SC2 Team Lead.
    • 24.  Relationship with Mayor’s Office Some Lessons Learned
    • 25. Some Lessons Learned  Convener/facilitator role
    • 26. Some Lessons Learned  Conduit for federal programs
    • 27. Some Lessons Learned  Mileage from technical assistance contracts  Identification of federal/non-federal resources  Almost $7 million in new grants for Fresno and more than $500K in leveraged outside funding
    • 28. Some Lessons Learned  Open Lines of Communication
    • 29. Some Lessons Learned  Capacity Building = New Thinking