Turning spaces into places.

Studies prove abundant benefits to physical, mental and environmental health – along with employee creativity and job fulfillment – when people connect in person, and in quality outdoor spaces. Yet, the aftereffects of 2020 have exposed voids of underutilized sidewalks, plazas and outdoor areas.

Converting these raw spaces into defined “places” presents opportunities to change how people use, and view, downtown. Enter CitySpots, a network of welcoming spaces and urban surprise where people meet, eat, play, or relax – rekindling vibrancy across downtown, and helping employers meet the needs of what today’s workforce looks for in a job location.

Potential CitySpots sites along Main and Fifth streets are inventoried and cataloged, along with a roadmap for public-private partnerships to create them, under the umbrella of the Louisville Downtown Partnership. The initial “spot” will open in spring of 2023 on Fifth Street near Metro Hall.

Whether grabbing lunch under a colorful umbrella, catching up on emails in an Adirondack chair, or swaying away an afternoon in a tire swing, CitySpots will help downtown rediscover the art of hanging out.

Unrealized Potential

Louisville’s downtown is dotted with under-programmed and under-utilized outdoor spaces. These present opportunities for creativity in space planning and activation to attract and engage users and visitors of downtown.

Pilot Site

CitySpots’ pilot project is proposed in the heart of our civic and business community at 5th and Jefferson adjacent to Metro Hall. This site was chosen because of its visibility, location, and opportunity for relatively quick implementation. The team has shared plans with the new mayor’s administration and other city officials, who have expressed support for the initiative, and permitting is underway toward implementation in spring 2023.

This initial CitySpot will serve as a welcoming front porch to Metro Government and a place for civic engagement that supports adjacent businesses and increases the desired vibrancy of downtown. The pilot will illustrate how small changes can make a big difference in terms of the people’s usage and perceptions of downtown – demonstrating what “can be” and inspiring involvement across the business community to help create more CitySpots across downtown.

Ripple Effect

The team identified the Main and Fifth Street corridors as the strategic start to the program due to the number of potential CitySpot locations in a contiguous stretch, along with synergistic opportunities with existing infrastructure, businesses in the area, and planned developments.

The CitySpots Team

Brian Butler, Stites & Harbison PLLC
Carrie Butler, Transit Authority of River City | TARC
Nikki Carver, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Hank Hillebrand, Poe Companies
Louis Johnson, Gresham Smith & Partners
Matt Kamer, BCH Agency
Fr. Frederick Klotter, Holy Spirit Church

Steven Kniffley Jr., Spalding University
Riggs Lewis, Norton Healthcare
Jeffrey O’Brien, Louisville Forward
Douglas Owen III, JLL
Brooke Pardue, Parks Alliance of Louisville
Chip Snyder, PNC Bank
Robbie Tindall, Humana Inc.

Interested in learning more?

This team, along with the rest of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2022 will be presenting on their projects as a session at the LeadingBetter Summit held March 9, 2023 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts from 4 – 5:00 p.m. Register for this full day of learning or just for this session!

Register for the Full LeadingBetter Summit    Register for the Bingham Fellows Presentation Only

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