Ensure a Walkable Downtown and Accessible Parks in Louisville, Kentucky

Target: Louisville Department of Economic Growth and Innovation

Goal: Revitalize Louisville Downtown by enhancing parks and walkable neighbourhoods, and preventing new highway development.

As young and old increasingly move to downtown areas in Louisville, Kentucky and across the country, it is more important than ever to revitalize downtown character, make neighbourhoods more walkable, and enhance park area and access. Louisville however, plans to develop contrary to these more sustainable urban planning trends by constructing larger highways and a new bridge.

Several decades ago, Louisville, like other American cities, invested in business growth and the suburban lifestyle, building large highways into downtown at the cost of parks and waterfront access. While other cities in America and around the world have since restructured to incorporate waterfront, parks and walkable neighbourhoods, Louisville is heading in another direction. In an attempt to bring more businesses and residents, the Department of Economic Growth and Innovation is planning to enlarge the existing highways and build a second bridge next to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. In fact, reducing or removing highways would not increase traffic; it would instead allow the redirection of resources towards revitalizing downtown neighbourhoods, the waterfront, and parks.

All of these efforts could increase property values, attract residents and businesses and make the area more walkable, accessible and sustainable. Please request that the Louisville Department of Economic Growth and Innovation focus on the direction already evident in architecture projects, sustainability and local foods movements and arts in the city, as well as the demographic moving here from around the country, and reconsider their plans for the future of this city.


Dear Louisville Department of Economic Growth and Innovation,

A new waterfront park, innovative architecture projects, an emphasis on local foods and more spaces for art reflected in a younger demographic looking for a less expensive urban setting exemplifies the natural path of Louisville. Yet plans for larger highways and a new bridge in hopes to reduce traffic and increase business run contrary to this direction. Instead, the city should be prioritizing public transportation, improved access to parks, and more walkable neighbourhoods.

Traffic problems plaguing the area will not improve with larger highways; the focus instead should be on expanding positive trends and meeting evident needs within the city. Namely, efforts to re-purpose historical buildings, increase park area and access, and make the city more sustainable inspire a reassessment of the supposed need for more highways. When highways were originally built into downtown, the trend was towards suburban living and a car-centered culture. Now people are favouring urban lifestyles and avoiding the overuse of cars. Thus a park difficult to access without a car now presents a huge problem and reflects the disconnect between resident needs and government planning.

Please reevaluate the outdated plans for the future of Louisville, and choose a more sustainable path which prioritizes public transportation; walkable neighbourhoods; encouragement of arts spaces, architecture, and local foods; as well as the enhancement and accessibility of parks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: HelloLouisville via Flickr

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