City of Niagara Falls
The Comprehensive Plan for City of Niagara Falls (2009) is a continuation of the 2004 Strategic Master Plan prepared for the City of Niagara Falls by Urban Strategies Inc. The new Comprehensive Plan differs from the 2004 document in its expansion of “The Planning Process” and “General Citywide Strategies” sections. The Comprehensive Plan emphasizes the importance of quality of urban experience for visitors and residents, looking primarily to revitalize the city and inspire a culture of local city pride, a sentiment that has declined over recent years, alongside the city’s employment and population rates.
The Plan cites 10 “Opportunities and Key Economic Drivers” for the city:
- Niagara Falls: A Bi-National Regional City with Tremendous Potential for Cross-
- Border Commerce and Collaboration
- Public-Private Partnerships
- Arts and Cultural development
- Regional Health Care
- Nodes and Corridors
- Heritage Communities and Neighborhoods
- Niagara International Airport
Furthermore, the Comprehensive Plan sets forth 8 critical “Principle for City Renewal” to be used in all future development projects/initiatives.
- Build on core assets
- Develop the waterfront
- Create green streetscape connections that link the riverfront amenities to the city, its neighborhoods and main streets.
- Prioritize residential development: revitalize neighborhoods and make living in the Core City attractive.
- Plan to become a more compact, attractive and manageable city
- Commit to sustained small-scale incremental change, design excellence, and authentic place making.
- Carefully target ‘catalyst projects’ to ignite renewal efforts and encourage private sector interest and reinvestment.
- Build strategic partnerships and promote a common agenda to undertake ‘catalyst’ projects.
The plan identifies and delineates the “Core City” as an area downtown that encompasses the State Park, the Medical Center, Seneca Niagara casino and City Hall as an area slated for targeted residential and commercial redevelopment and redensification. Combined with the Opportunities and Economic Drivers, the Comprehensive plan supports the goals of the Framework for Regional Growth, specifically as it regards promoting a vital economy, preserving natural/cultural assets, and encouraging strong neighborhoods. By making improvements to main streets, parks, heritage neighborhoods and local businesses through a collaborative process the plan aims to improve the quality of life within the city not only for residents who live and work there, but also visitors who come and visit.