Keep West Louisville’s Uniqueness

The City of Louisville Kentucky is in transition & no place can be left behind. For a city to be emulated, all areas of the city must share equal opportunities. Social cohesion & economic strength are essential in all neighborhoods.

Louisville stands as great city because of the distinctiveness of each neighborhood. Unfortunately, not all neighborhoods offer equal opportunities for residents.

Place is vital to a thriving community by creating a sense of warmth, belonging, acceptance, connectivity, & involvement. Urban sprawl has been rampant across America for decades, but people are moving back to urban centers.

A successful place is extremely important for neighborhoods through an atmosphere filled with culture offerings. People want to stay, return, & share with others the environment of opportunities for residents & visitors. Louisville currently has different neighborhoods fitting this category; unfortunately West Louisville is not one of them. However, it can happen.

West Louisville is rich in character & history, & one of the worst areas in Louisville. Poverty, unemployment, low school grades, & abandoned houses/lots are the highest rates in Jefferson County. Median household income, education attainment, & home ownership are lowest in the county.

Recently West Louisville has been gathering a lot of attention. Local developer Gill Holland & investors are talking about investing millions into the area. The 2014 Bingham Fellows class topic was ‘Investing in West Louisville’s Path to Prosperity.’ Louisville’s Economic Development Department hired Gresham Smith & Partners to complete a comprehensive analysis of the area. Seed Capital Kentucky is trying to develop 24-acre site into a FoodPort Project bringing hundreds of jobs & monetary gains for the local community. These are just a few of the grander ideas for the area.

Transplanting the box store ideology for growth by investors will only cause the uniqueness to vanish into surrounding neighborhoods. Louisville is a great city because of the uniqueness (weirdness for locals) existing between neighborhoods. Anybody can find an area to fit his or her personality.

Growth is slowly occurring through the opening of new restaurants & businesses. Development & progression must improve the livability of the area. What that means is improvements are for the neighborhood & current Residents. Improving a neighborhood by moving issues to another area is not proper growth.

Sustainability is key in development centering on improving quality of life for present & future. Accomplished through environmentally innovative solutions of smart growth, water & energy efficiency, existing building, connectivity, transportation, & renewable energy sources.

West Louisville doesn’t require transplants to create change; it needs a culture built around opportunities created by existing residents from educational achievement, improved job skills & financial resources.

Investments in the area must strengthen existing uniqueness by fixing current issues, not transplanting the problems to another area. Growth potential is accomplished by allowing existing residents equal opportunities keeping the character of the historical neighborhood & residents.

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