What are Workgroups?

To have a well-rounded discussion during the visioning process, 6 workgroups and a steering committee of community members and stakeholders have come together to help shape the work that is being done.  These groups are helping the city to gather input for the city’s shared vision.  The workgroups engage the community at events and meetings to talk about current issues and explore new ideas.  The topic for each workgroup is below.  We encourage you to get involved! Become a workgroup member!

  • Development Character / Land use
  • Shared Prosperity / Economic Stability

  • Great Neighborhoods

  • Balanced Transportation

  • Downtown

  • Sustainable City

The Workgroups: Get Involved!

Development Character / Land Use:

The way in which we design and renovate our buildings can have the biggest impact on what our city looks like in the future.  This includes the architectural character as well as how the buildings relate to the public streets.  The way we use the land determines how good a street feels to walk along and how easy it is to live in a neighborhood.  Based on character, investment in neighborhoods located at the core of the city (downtown) can improve development by promoting a more efficient use of land and infrastructure and by reabsorbing growth back into Kalamazoo.  Efficient use of land serves to reduce reliance on the automobile, minimize environmental impacts, and lessen the strain on public services.  Further from the core, neighborhoods can be enhanced with strategic investments such as: improving streetscapes and lighting, connecting sidewalks and bike lanes, and interconnecting open spaces of public use for greater mobility.


Christina Anderson

Shared Prosperity / Economic Stability: 


Research and common sense tell us that success in achieving shared prosperity for Kalamazoo depends on simultaneously making progress on providing more residents with access to well-paying jobs; fostering the healthy growth, development, and learning of all of our youth; and supporting strong, economically secure families.  For Kalamazoo to become a prosperous community, we need to examine the actions necessary to support social and economic sustainability.

Kevin Ford

Great Neighborhoods

Great Neighborhoods do not come about by accident. Maintaining healthy, sustainable neighborhoods takes conscious, proactive decisions by leaders from the community, nonprofit organizations, government, the private sector, and institutions. By examining current trends and character patterns, we can plan for a Kalamazoo that builds upon neighborhoods’ strengths and enhances them for future generations.


Diana MortonThompson

Balanced Transportation

Kalamazoo’s streets and public realm are among the most important public infrastructure and place-making elements of the city because they can define how a visitor, resident, or worker perceives a neighborhood, downtown, or the city as a whole. While it is important that streets foster safe travel for all modes of transportation and are easy to navigate, they must also look good, be inviting, and create the right impression. A well-designed system of interconnected sidewalks, bike lanes, and transit routes gives travel options that decrease the number of automobile trips, elevating the concept of environmental sustainability.


Tomas Minto


With a diverse community of 75,000 people, the City of Kalamazoo serves as a regional hub for business, entertainment, and cultural offerings for the County of Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo has used its unique setting between Detroit and Chicago to position itself as a place of innovation and education. Imagine Kalamazoo seeks to bring strategies to support downtown into the 21st century with an ambitious but attainable vision that aligns our assets with opportunities.


Andrew Haan

Sustainable City

A Sustainable City is one that “addresses the triple bottom line of environmental health, economic vitality, and social equity”  and includes multiple action items to address all three elements. The City is committed to improving sustainability, which was identified as a key planning strategy for the downtown in particular. Several factors are behind this, including escalating energy costs which have created immediate demand for alternative energy; local government’s embrace of sustainability as concerns about global warming proliferate; and increased demand from downtown stakeholders and tenants for sustainable buildings and environments.

Maintaining infrastructure is an important, though almost invisible, part of being a sustainable city. Infrastructure includes the underground utilities (water, sanitary and storm sewer system), and energy resources (publicly franchised electric and gas service). As we consider opportunities to become a more sustainable community, we need to understand the most important decisions and actions to help us reach this critical goal.


Matt Fletcher

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