Downtown Placemaking Initiative,

Owensboro, Kentucky


In the fall of 2007, the residents of Owensboro identified downtown revitalization as an important community priority. Jay Narayana was the lead planner and project manager under Gateway Planning Group that undertook this initiative. Bringing the Waterfront into historic downtown became the critical focus. Reinventing the design of major roadway corridors, linking downtown with other parts of downtown, created additional opportunities.

Focus on Catalytic Projects & Implementation

Based on extensive stakeholder input, analysis of existing conditions, focused public participation events, and buy-in from elected of ficials, the team developed a market-based master plan and a comprehensive package of catalyst projects to jump-start downtown revitalization. The package of catalyst projects was based on strengthening existing destinations and planned improvements within downtown while taking advantage of the community’s roots—the Ohio River.

Master Plan and Form-Based Code

The final Master Plan will provide an overall urban design framework within which the community can come together and reassess priorities and initiatives as market conditions evolve. Facilitating rezoning, the Master Plan will be implemented by a form-based code. This will enable Downtown Owensboro to once again be a linked collection of urban neighborhoods, each with its own development anda ctivity focus. With several large-scale redevelopment opportunities, the Master Plan provides the community flexibility in evaluating a variety of redevelopment options. Since the plan and code’s adoption, Downtown Owensboro has seen over $150 million in public and private investment.


· Downtown Placemaking Initiative, Owensboro, Kentucky

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This project was undertaken with Gateway Planning as the prime firm. Images courtesy of Gateway Planning Group.