We live in a remarkable city with benefactors who believe deeply in making it flourish. The support of arts is outstanding. The restaurants offer a diverse culinary fare. Oh, and there's some beer here, too. Can you imagine what Kalamazoo will be like, look like, and feel like in 2025? Kalamazoo already has a Master Plan...

What is the Master Plan? According to the official release:

The Master Plan shapes the City’s future built environment by guiding growth and development, preserving Kalamazoo’s unique character, and enhancing Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods.

That's an incredibly dry description of the wonderful improvements in store, and since the entire plan could easily be lost in the TLDNR abyss, I'll share some highlights with you. Look forward to:

City of Kalamazoo
  • A Better Connected City: They are working to make Kalamazoo the most disability friendly city in the country, expanding on public transportation (adding routes and extending hours), and creating more bike/walking paths. They want to widen sidewalks, beautify the landscape, and... get this... change from one-way traffic, to two-way. I know, I know... crazy talk. They are also looking to expand bike sharing and give incentives to carpoolers.
City of Kalamazoo
  • Downtown's Face-lift: Picture it; a bakery and a drugstore on the mall, unique signage, new facades. Yes, it's possible, and it's in the plan! The City plans to expand on everything that makes Kalamazoo special, like the arts and entertainment, and bring in what it's been missing.
City of Kalamazoo
  • New Neighborhood Amenities: Parks, open spaces, fresh food, quality housing in all areas - this is the goal for the neighborhood initiative. Historic districts will get the TLC they need to be vibrant again. The City wants to maintain an open dialogue with residents to see real change happen. Erinn Knott, Kalamazoo Commissioner, shared her excitement about the changes to come. She says the city is invested in our children and seeing entrepreneurs succeed.
  • Click here for a future outlook of Kalamazoo

So, how are they doing all this? With The Foundation of Excellence, of course. Remember when I said our benefactors want to see us succeed? Well, they weren't lying, and they are certainly putting their money where their heart is. I encourage you to read (or skim) the whole wonderful Master Plan. That future is on our doorstep. Be part of it.

Bonus Video: Bishop's Ideas on The Foundation for Excellence