Vision and Goals for the Future
From The Master Plan - Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
In order to establish appropriate policies for land use, development and community cohesion in the Old Brooklyn, Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods, it is first necessary to establish the basic direction or vision for the community. Establishing this “basic direction” is accomplished by setting goals, which then help to determine priorities and provide a framework around which to make decisions and organize/prioritize action steps. The goals in this Master Plan highlight areas where Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn stakeholders can strive to make the community stronger than it is today.
Prior to defining the goals, the Master Plan Advisory Committee (MPAC) reviewed assessments of existing conditions and trends in order to gain an understanding of key issues. Issues were identified during interviews of the Master Plan Advisory Committee members at the beginning of the planning process and confirmed at the March 2008 community meetings.
The Advisory Committee agreed upon three overarching vision statements buttressed by twenty-eight goals. These vision statements and attendant goals form the foundation of the plan recommendations.
- The Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods will have a strong sense of community based on pride and participation, where residents and stakeholders embrace its unique identity and cultural diversity.
- The Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods will continue to be desirable places to live, work, shop and visit.
- The Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods will conserve, preserve and protect natural resources for future generations.
The goals have been organized into eight topics and prioritized within each topic based on community response. These are long-term goals, and some will be challenging to accomplish, yet the goals form an important part of the Plan: they provide overall guidance and direction, and are supplemented by more detailed objectives and strategies in subsequent chapters.
Housing and Neighborhood Character
- Ensure that neighborhood properties are solid investments.
- Promote the neighborhoods as great places to live.
- Ensure an adequate supply of housing stock with a range of housing choices.
- Create unique shopping and entertainment destinations.
- Ensure attractive and convenient shopping environments.
- Ensure robust retail and commercial environments in appropriate locations.
Community Services and Facilities
- Keep Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre safe neighborhoods with low crime rates.
- Ensure excellent municipal and support services.
- Encourage the collaboration of diverse neighborhood organizations.
Community Heritage and Identity
- Integrate community identity and assets of Old Brooklyn/Brooklyn Centre with that of Ohio & Erie Canalway America’s Byway.
- Ensure widespread awareness of community assets.
- Encourage the recognition and preservation of historically, architecturally, and/or culturally significant structures, places, and districts within the neighborhoods.
- Promote place-making efforts that recognize each neighborhood’s distinctiveness.
- Honor and respect the diverse cultural heritages of Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn residents.
- Attract and encourage public and private investment in a systematic manner that builds upon the communities’ strengths.
- Ensure that new development fits appropriately into the neighborhood while meeting the needs of contemporary retailers and businesses.
- Foster environmentally-friendly building practices and processes
- Build connections to the Towpath Trail to provide access to the neighborhoods.
- Create recreation destinations in/adjacent to the Lower Big Creek Valley, expanding upon the Zoo’s current regional draw, proximity to the Towpath Trail, and the Ohio & Erie Canalway America’s Byway.
- Promote recreational facilities and programs for all residents, including children, young adults, and senior citizens.
Environmental Protection and Natural Resources
- Protect and improve the health of the Lower Big Creek, its tributaries and the Cuyahoga River.
- Improve air quality in Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre.
- Encourage the development of an environmental stewardship ethic in all people that reside, conduct business, or visit Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre.
- Design streets with all users in mind: pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and drivers.
- Make streets safer for all travelers.
- Promote the use of multiple modes of transportation such as public transit to reduce dependency on private automobiles.
These goals indicate the policy directions and strategies chosen to address the challenges and opportunities facing the neighborhoods. Some strategies are applicable across large areas of the neighborhoods and are discussed in the next chapter. Other strategies are location specific and are discussed in Chapter 6 for specific opportunity sites.