A Downtown Master Plan for Aurora
Update: The Phase 2 Survey to allow residents and stakeholders to provide feedback on potential recommendation ideas will be open through July 18th. The full Existing Conditions report is available for download, as well as the summary report.
Downtown Aurora is located in Kane County, while the rest of the City extends into DuPage, Kendall, and Will Counties. The City is located in the outer region of the Chicago metropolitan area, just 40 miles west of downtown Chicago. Aurora, known as the City of Lights, has a historic downtown on the Fox River and was once the main economic center for the Fox River region, employing many generations of European and Mexican immigrants who worked in the roundhouse and locomotive industry. Today the City of Lights remains highly diverse and is Illinois' second most populous city. For more demographic information, view the Aurora Community Data Snapshot.
Through the CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, the City of Aurora is leading an effort to update, complement, and enhance the 2005 Seize the Future Master Plan, with a component dedicated to developing the transportation opportunities and walkability of downtown. The new downtown master plan will provide policy direction in the areas of sustainability, economic development, open space and recreation, arts and culture, and other quality-of-life factors. Once complete, the plan will recommend policies to help the City and its residents address identified challenges.
The planning process, developed in collaboration with the City of Aurora, involves three phases over the next 15 months. The first phase will involve a thorough analysis of the existing conditions within the community using information gathered from the steering committee, interviews with key stakeholders, a public meeting, an online interactive survey, review of previous plans and studies, and collection of maps and data. The second phase will focus on creating strategies for Aurora's downtown based on findings from the phase one analysis and public engagement. The third phase will include plan creation, community feedback, and plan adoption.
The public will have several opportunities to participate in the planning process. The City of Aurora, in partnership with CMAP, will embark on a series of outreach meetings with City leadership, business representatives, and the community to solicit and incorporate local input to the planning process. We also invite your participation through various social media outlets.
Upcoming / ongoing outreach
- Phase 2 Survey on Recommendation Directions will be open through July 18th.
- Fall Plan Review Open House, TBD
Public Open House (June 16th, 2016)
On Thursday, June 16th, between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 pm, CMAP staff were at Waubonsee Community College collecting feedback on recommendation directions for the Downtown Master Plan. At this public open house, ideas for plan recommendations and key findings were available for public review and comment prior to getting into the draft plan narrative. The three-hour event used an open house format to allow attendees to learn about the initial recommendations and provide input at their own pace.
Public visioning workshop (January 21, 2016)
A public visioning workshop for the Downtown Aurora Master Plan was held on Thursday, January 21 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Waubonsee Community College. In addition to hearing about the planning process, more than 180 community residents and stakeholders provided information for what they envision the future of Downtown Aurora in the next 15 years. Click on the following link for a video of the public visioning workshop presentation.
- Public Visioning Workshop (Video of presentation below, timeline handout 755 KB PDF)
Additional engagement activities
- The Metroquest Online Community Survey was open through May 1st aurora.metroquest.com
- A Spanish language version of the survey was available through May 1st at vamosaurora.metroquest.com
- Interactive kiosks with the survey rotated to different locations through April 21st
- Focus groups with AAHAB, IACOAB, Restore the Neighborhood community group, AHHAB
- Booth at El Día de Los Niños event
- Presentation at West Aurora High School May 17th
On-line survey opportunity
Map comments received on the Metroquest survey. Zoom in and click on the icons to see what was said or open the map in a new window.
Survey respondents identified over 1800 points on the map.
Residents want more restaurants, walkable areas in downtown Aurora, The Beacon-News, January 22, 2016.
Aurora to hold meeting on future of downtown area, The Beacon-News, January 7, 2016.
Aurora to get regional help with downtown plan, The Beacon-News, October 9, 2015.