PLANNING IN PUBLIC IS VITAL TO THE LONG-TERM SUCCESS OF ANY PLAN.
As the guiding document for the City of Laredo, it was important that the comprehensive plan be created with the input and collaboration of the citizens of Laredo, public officials, and staff members.
To achieve this goal, Viva Laredo was created using an open planning process that included numerous opportunities and ways for people to participate and add their ideas, concepts, and priorities to the development of the plan.
See our comprehensive timeline below >
PUBLIC KICK-OFF PRESS CONFERENCE
The Viva Laredo process officially began on Friday, May 6th, 2016 when the multidisciplinary team, let by Frank Hickey Peña Architects held an official press conference with the city.
City Manager Jesus Olivares introduced the project and the project team. The timeline, the public events necessary to create the comprehensive plan, and the methods for public participation were described.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS
TOWN HALL No. 1 | JUNE 14, 2016
McKENDRICK OCHOA SALINAS LIBRARY
In the first town hall, the Viva Laredo team gave comment cards to fifty participants, asking them to rank eleven plan-related categories.
Education was the number one priority topic for people, followed closely by job opportunity and affordability.
TOWN HALL No. 2 | AUGUST 16, 2016
FALCON INTERNATIONAL BANK
In the second town hall, the team asked participants the same questions in order to gain additional feedback.
This time, education and job opportunities were tied as a first priority, followed by both arts and culture, and then affordability.
TOWN HALL No. 1 DATA
TOWN HALL No. 1 COMMENT CARDS
TOWN HALL No. 2 DATA
TOWN HALL No. 2 COMMENT CARDS
WORK GROUP MEETINGS
Work groups were made up of members of the community to help focus and steer the development of the plan by working with the planning team.
Technical meetings were held with each work group throughout the process to ensure that concerns are identified and addressed within the comprehensive plan.
The work groups focused on the following areas:
Mobility and Transportation
Green-space, Recreation, and Landscape
Environment and Natural Resources
Health and Wellness
International Border Relations
Logistics and International Trade
Technology and Communications
Arts and Culture
NEW URBANISM FILM FESTIVAL
The new Urbanism Film Festival, based out of Los Angeles, California, screens short and feature length films on the topic of built environment.
On September 8, 2016, the Viva Laredo team hosted a screening of some of these films inviting everybody in the community to an entertaining block party outside the historic Plaza theater.
The films illustrate what communities around the country are doing to create more livable cities. This event worked as an educational primer for what may be possible in Laredo's future.
TEN-DAY PUBLIC DESIGN WORKSHOP
To further understand Laredo and its citizens, the planning team traveled to the US - Mexico border on September 26, 2016.
Viva Laredo hosted a ten-day public design workshop where the public, city officials, and staff members had the opportunity to draw and share their varied ideas for the future of Laredo.
The planning team then interpreted the feedback from all participants. Some of the most widely expressed ideas included:
Create attractive, walkable destinations
Make the downtown great
Complete the streets
Plan new, improved public spaces
A prosperous (but still affordable) city
In addition to the table maps and group presentations, participants were also asked to fill out an exit survey and "one word" cards describing the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Laredo now and in the future. We then put those words in a word cloud. The larger a word appear, the more it was repeated throughout the cards. These were the responses.
ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE LAREDO TODAY
ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE FUTURE LAREDO
Other activities that were part of the workshop included:
open public studio
work group with HB Zachry elementary students
work group with millennials
work group with LBJ high school students
bike master plan
learn with jeff speck presentation
technical and workgroup meetings
economic development meetings
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN ADOPTION
SHAPES THE PLAN
FOLLOWING THE WORKSHOP
The end of the workshop is not the end of the conversation! People were able to continue to provide feedback in multiple ways following the workshop.
DRAFTING THE PLAN
Following the workshop, the various members of the planning team took the feedback they received and began to write the elements of the comprehensive plan.
We want to hear back from you! What are your thoughts on the goals and strategies the comprehensive plan recommends?
Without your feedback and participation, the plan is only a plan. Now, as a citizen you have the opportunity to bring your city to life and make our collective vision for Laredo, a reality!
The Viva Laredo Comprehensive Plan was adopted unanimously by City Council on September 18th, 2017.