Press Release: Mayor Eberhart Attends Mayors’ Institute on City Design

MICD 59 (2)FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2014

MAYOR EBERHART ATTENDS MAYORS’ INSTITUTE ON CITY DESIGN

Mayor John Eberhart attended a June National Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD). MICD is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors and the American Architectural Foundation. MICD is the preeminent forum for mayors to address urban planning, design challenges, and development issues. The MICD session was held in Louisville, Kentucky, and only eight mayors from across the nation were invited to participate with the Mayor of Louisville. Mayor Eberhart attended with the following mayors: Mayor Greg Fischer (Host), Louisville, Kentucky; Mayor Rusty Bailey, Riverside, California; Mayor John Curtis, Provo, Utah; Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mayor George Wallace, Hampton, Virginia; Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester, New York; and Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, Ohio. This was the first time in the nearly 30 years of MICD National Sessions that the Fairbanks Mayor attended and Fairbanks was the smallest city represented.

Mayor Eberhart first sought local input and then met with City staff to identify potential areas and issues in our community in need of improvement. Areas and issues considered included:

An attractive, safe, and economically vibrant Fairbanks
Walkability year round, safe, and pleasant downtown core
Vibrant downtown retail core
Affordable housing for young professionals in the downtown core
Historic and cultural retail district and/or pedestrian mall
Revitalization and/or repurposing of empty and underutilized structures

The Executive Director from MICD, Trinity Simons, came to Fairbanks in May to meet with Mayor Eberhart and City engineers, and look at the community’s challenges, successes, and opportunities. Ms. Simons then suggested a presentation focusing on the area from Pioneer Park to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, including downtown. In Louisville, Mayor Eberhart made his presentation to design, architecture and real estate development experts on our diverse economy and issues our city faces. Questions were posed to specialists on where growth efforts should be targeted, how to enhance tourism, how to expand the downtown retail corridor, and best use practices from other communities.

City design experts also gave presentations on topics chosen to address the case studies presented by the mayors, followed by roundtable discussions. The presentation offered a rare opportunity for the mayors and experts to discuss these issues candidly and to explore solutions. The final report and findings from MICD in response to Mayor Eberhart’s presentation is expected soon.

Contact: Amber Courtney, Communications Director/PIO abcourtney@ci.fairbanks.ak.us, 459-6793
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