Revitalizing a Downtown, one project at a time
UDA has served as urban design consultant for the City of Norfolk since 1989 when we developed the Downtown 2000 Master Plan. Prior revitalization and growth was scattered, without a unified goal. By helping their government identify, communicate and execute clear, actionable revitalization goals, Norfolk was able to rediscover and refocus on their Downtown and waterfront, thereby catalyzing revitalization through a series of strategic investments. After years of rapid and successful restoration and development (including two Master Plan updates to address and inform drastic transformations to the Downtown fabric), Norfolk needed a tool for protecting values, setting vision and encouraging further development. The Department of Planning and Community Development commissioned a UDA pattern book to guide the design of mixed-use and multi-family buildings, supporting both diversity and harmony in their Downtown development. The pattern book has been effectively used by the city’s review agencies, and UDA has provided on-call planning and design services for the city for nearly three decades. As a result, Downtown Norfolk is now home to a vibrant regional center, economic engine, and quality of life destination. Furthermore, the city’s tax revenues have increased by nearly two billion dollars, making Downtown Norfolk one of the most successful transformation stories in the United States.