We’re rolling up our sleeves every day, with one eye on the big picture and the other on the little details. Our role in all of this is to bring people together to solve problems and make the vision a reality. We research and compile data and then share our findings with the public. We organize task forces to study and tackle issues affecting the region. We facilitate dialogue among different elected officials and policymakers. And we seek out new ways, like our Close the Gap initiative, to engage the public and get everyday citizens involved in shaping a vibrant, healthy, prosperous community where we all want to live, work, and play.
In the summer of 2016, the Heartland 2050 Executive Committee endorsed the “Close the Gap” Plan as the project’s “big idea,” or primary focus area.
The Close the Gap Plan calls for creating vibrant places that are more livable and walkable, where people are better connected to jobs, education and other destinations through a robust regional transit network.
We’ve looked at success stories from other metro areas, where these types of investments have transformed local communities and yielded significant economic growth. We believe this model can have a similar impact on our metro region.
The plan has many applications.
Securing regional funding will not only help us maintain and expand our infrastructure, but will provide more opportunities to reduce future congestion through new roads, transit, walking and biking trails.
Clustering residential, office, entertainment, and shopping in mixed use areas makes walking more attractive. Building in lets people live closer to work and spend less time in traffic. Demographic shifts mean that the demand for small lot, single family homes, townhomes, and multifamily housing will increase greatly over the next 30 years. A balanced mix of housing options will help people find places to live that they want and can afford.
We are advocating an integrated approach to land use and transit that focuses development based on existing patterns in our region.
Nodes are areas where lots of stuff is happening close together. Neighborhoods with residential, shopping, restaurants and businesses likeBlackstone, Benson, 100 Block, Downtown Papillion, Plattesmouth Main Street, Glenwood Town Square, The Old Market, Dundee, Olde Towne, Midtown Crossing, are a few examples.
Corridors are well traveled paths between nodes, connecting schools, hospitals, cultural centers, and businesses along the way.
East/West: Dodge-Farnam-Broadway, Center Street, and Maple Street
North/South: 24th Street and 72nd Street