Town Square Park Master Plan
544 W 5th Ave/551 W. 6th Ave (Map)
Anchorage Parks and Recreation is updating the master plan for Town Square Park. The master plan will provide a 20-year vision for the park that seeks to address issues and concerns, prioritize improvements, and identify strategies to ensure that the park is a safe and thriving public space for all.
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Town Square Park is an important park and civic space located in the heart of downtown Anchorage. More than a park, Town Square Park provides an economic anchor and is a catalyst and enhancement for the development of Downtown Anchorage’s commerce and cultural exchange.
Town Square Park was first developed in the 1980’s to provide an oasis from urban activities in Alaska’s largest and most metropolitan city. The Park has undergone several changes since it was first developed and use of the park has evolved over the years. Recently, the inoperative water fountain in the center of Town Square Park was removed in an effort to improve visibility and public safety in the park.
PROJECT TIMELINE & MASTER PLANNING PROCESS
Planning and public involvement for Town Square Park is anticipated to take place throughout 2017.
Parks and Recreation will begin research and outreach in early 2017 with public involvement to begin in March. Public workshops will take place in spring-summer-fall of 2017.
Following the public workshops and advisory group meetings, a draft plan will be made available for public review (fall 2017), prior to beginning the approval process.
The Parks and Recreation Department will host a series of (4) public workshops to hear from members of the community about what they envision for Town Square Park. The Department will also work with citizen and technical advisory groups as well as several focus groups throughout the development of the master plan to ensure that the diverse perspectives and interests of the community are heard.
Citizen Advisory Group (CAG):
An 8-12 member Citizens Advisory Group will act in the capacity of a Steering Committee to assist the planning team as a sounding board and feedback group. The CAG represents the community’s interests and applications for group membership are open to the greater public.
Citizen Advisory Group Members: Radhika Krishna, Shannon Kuhn, Dianne Holmes, Tanya Iden, Nancy Harbour, James Starzec, Nina Bonito Romine, Jennifer Richcreek, Darrel Hess
Technical Advisory Group (TAG):
The Technical Advisory Committee will include a small group of designers and planners who have a history of work, body of knowledge, and understanding of past efforts of Town Square Park. Members of the TAC will advise the planning team and provide technical assistance to the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) at strategic points during the planning process.
Technical Advisory Group Members: Jamie Boring, Elise Huggins, Erin Bacca, Sandy Potvin, Sharon Chamard, Ken Pendleton, Caren Mathis, Jonny Hayes, Derrick Chang, LaQuita Chmielowski, Bree Kessler
Parks and Recreation will work with several focus groups to better understand the specific needs of stakeholders with interest in the park. Meetings are planned with a downtown Business Roundtable, the Mayor's Youth Advisory Commission, and Public Safety and Social Service agencies at key milestones during the master planning process.
To provide diverse and iterative opportunities for the general public and greater community to advise and inform the master plan, the following Community Workshops are anticipated at the following planning process milestones:
1. Visioning & Positive Change Workshop
2. Place Audit Workshop
3. Community Design Workshop
4. Master Plan Draft Review Workshop
Following the public involvement phase of the project, Parks and Recreation will develop a public review draft to present for approval. The approval process will include public hearings at the Parks and Recreation Commission as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission.