TACOMA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced the winners of this year’s Governor’s Smart Communities Awards. In the “Smart Equity Strategies” category, the McKinley Neighborhood Plan was recognized for centering equity in planning and community engagement. It distills local and regional strategic goals into four major priorities identified by the neighborhood:
- Business district vitality – strong business district with a unique sense of place
- Transportation – safe, accessible connections for all modes
- Open space – active spaces that contribute to neighborhood identity
- Development – growth that adds options for food, housing, and services
A community-led action plan for the future of McKinley, the plan was prepared by the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Planning Program. It draws on nine months of co-creation with the neighborhood and business district and is informed by responses from extensive community engagement.
“Neighborhood engagement is vital to a flourishing city,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “In the City of Tacoma, we lead with equity and this helps ensure that any barriers in engaging our communities are removed. The City is honored to receive the Governor’s Smart Communities Award for the McKinley Hill Neighborhood Plan, and we proudly share it with our community who helped make this project possible.”
“The countless hours of hard work, dedication and community-wide collaboration that went into the creation of this neighborhood plan is a testament to the strength and resilience of the McKinley Neighborhood,” said Council Member Catherine Ushka. “This neighborhood plan is ambitious, but it is achievable, and we must continue working to find the resources needed to bring the community’s vision to life.”
The McKinley Hill Neighborhood Plan includes a number of proposed actions.
Several of the proposed actions will be accomplished with existing allocated funding, such as new bike parking, murals, and water fountains. Some of the proposed actions will require reorienting or reprioritizing existing allocated resources, or identifying a combination of grants and other partnership funds.
The McKinley Hill Neighborhood Plan is aligned with the City of Tacoma’s Comprehensive Plan, “One Tacoma”.
Presented annually since 2006, the Smart Communities Awards program recognizes local governments and their partners for exceptional land use planning and development. The awards showcase effective implementation of the state’s Growth Management Act and the honored local programs and projects serve as leading examples for other communities as they seek to address similar land use planning issues or look for inspiration and creative ideas.
“The Smart Awards continues a long-standing tradition in our state of excellence and leadership. This year’s winners are tackling everything from housing affordability to environmental restoration, proving that our state can do anything it sets its mind to,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.
“Making equity a recognizable achievement in our communities and celebrating the kinds of projects that take years if not decades to reach fruition are both admirable additions to the governor’s annual program,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “I am excited to share the community engagement and innovative problem solving each winner used to address today’s challenges.”