What is Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 (IK2025)?

To ensure that IK2025 is meaningfully shaped by our collective vision, staff have partnered with community leaders to pop up throughout the city at large and small events to gather input! Join us at an event to include your comments and ideas.

Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 (IK2025) is about creating a shared vision to enhance quality of life for all. The City of Kalamazoo is a rich and diverse community. IK2025 is about valuing and respecting contributions made by all people who live, work, and play here and believing that this diversity strengthens Kalamazoo as a whole.

This website will serve as a communication hub to ensure to provide community members with easily accessible information, news, and event details. So often we create plans, hear about projects, and aren’t sure where they went. Imaginekalamazoo.com will become the clearinghouse of action items and efforts that are housed in an array of city plans.  This website will allow you to track progress of initiatives from beginning to end and to understand how public input translated into meaningful action.

Currently, Imagine Kalamazoo is focusing on creating the Strategic Vision and updating the Master Plan via the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 process through community meetings and events. The Strategic Vision will act as the City’s guide to shape all plans being created in the future.

Why plan for the future?

Kalamazoo has shown the ability to continually reinvent itself through creativity and innovation. Despite the last few difficult years, we are beginning to see pockets of recovery and reinvestment.  It is an important moment to come together and chart how our vision gets implemented. The IK 2025 update will define the direction of our community for the next 10 years.

How does creating a Strategic Vision work?

The Strategic Vision is being drafted through an 18-month-long public process drawing on Kalamazoo residents and civic leaders from both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors together form a broad-based group of community experts. As we gather the results of this citywide public engagement effort, city staff and a team of technical experts will begin to craft and refine the vision with specific strategies for reaching it. We will be sharing work publicly at key points, and shaping it in response to changing information and community feedback throughout the process.

What should I expect to see when I read the Strategic Vision?

The Strategic Vision is the City’s guide to help shape all plans that are being created. It provides direction to anyone that is working in the city on projects and policies.

The first steps of the shared vision for the City of Kalamazoo are generating themes and best practices. This means looking at what is working in other cities that have similar wants and needs. For example, we can look at what other cities are doing to address similar goals:

The following themes have been created through the first public meetings of Imagine Kalamazoo:

  • Connected & Accessible – Public transit, pedestrians, neighborhoods, bicycling, events & festivals, housing, public places & outdoor spaces, parking
  • Vibrant & Friendly Community – Urban renewal, downtown revitalization, Farmers' market, restored sense of community and  neighborhood, safety, a great place to live
  • Equity & Opportunity – Inclusive, Minority & Women Owned Business Creation, youth jobs & opportunities, education, social services, poverty eradication, shared prosperity, racism addressed, affordable living
  • Culturally Diverse – Diversity, arts, culture, acceptance of others
  • Collaborate – Community engagement, unified vision, planning & development, responsive government

These themes may change by the end of the process, but right now we are looking for your thoughts on what these themes mean to you. Participate in IK 2025 to be sure we are headed in the right direction.

What should I expect to see when I read the Master Plan?

The Master Plan is a guide for land use regulation, development actions and decisions as well as public infrastructure to support land use activities. It is the mandated document for any community that has adopted a zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and capital improvement programs. The Master Plan is used by the Planning Commission as required under Michigan Law. It provides a series of goals, objectives and recommendations that will guide the City of Kalamazoo’s decisions for years to come.

Process

City staff has developed a 5 Phase work plan.  Below is a timeline and how each phase will change and combine feedback for the final Master Plan.

About-Page-Process-Graphic.png

IMAGINE IT (COMPLETED)

Imagine It data was gathered through encouraging group conversation about the city today and the desired City of Kalamazoo for the future. The data was then studied and the five strategic vision themes emerged.

PLAN IT (complete)

Using the Imagine It data as a guide, we will be asking the community about specific desires for great neighborhoods, shared prosperity and economic vitality, balanced transportation, a sustainable city, the downtown, and land use development to shape goals and validate the themes.

DESIGN IT (in-progress)

At the end of the goal setting phase, each topic will be evaluated and prioritized. The top goals will go on into the final phase of Design It to be further explored for resources, partnerships, and actionable work plans.

DRAFT IT

All of the actionable items will be evaluated for policy, program, and project timelines by city staff. Each project will be codified into specific, measurable, attainable goals that have assigned resources and timelines. We will then present the Draft Strategic Vision and Master Plan to the community for final input and clarifications.

ADOPT IT

Hold meetings to inform the public about the document. Present the Strategic Vision and Master Plan to the community.

What makes the IK 2025 effort different from other outreach?

IK 2025 was created recognizing that the city is not a static place, but one that is changing. The way the city is working to reach out is by going to YOU. City staff and volunteers will be participating in events held in neighborhoods and at local businesses throughout the entire process. Using this website is one more way to let the city know what you’re thinking and to catch up on what’s been going on. We will be working hard to keep everyone informed about projects, policies, and partnerships of every size and scale. We’ve heard loud and clear that communication is key to reaching and supporting a shared vision throughout projects the city is working on. IK 2025 gives equal consideration to every area of the city, every citizen, and every piece of a good and possible quality of life.

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