Established in 1869, the Village of Riverside, including its central business district (CBD), is one of the nation's first planned communities. However, since its inception, the growth and amenities of surrounding communities have changed the role of Riverside's CBD in the contemporary economic environment. Now, building upon the downtown's existing conditions, its image and historical character, previous planning studies, and new community input, CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is helping Riverside to draft a plan that will guide future improvements and focus on implementation.
The intent of the project is to develop a Central Business District (CBD) plan formulating a vision and identifying development strategies for improving the function and character of the Village's downtown, while building on the Village's image and identity. The plan would comprehensively address issues such as the downtown's role within the regional and local marketplace, land use priorities, pedestrian access, and the community's relationship with its downtown train station.
The process includes three phases. The first phase includes an analysis of existing land uses and community facilities, as well as gathering initial public input regarding the issues and opportunities in the downtown area. The second phase consists of creating a shared vision and identifying specific goals and recommendations to achieve it. The third phase will develop an implementation strategy to put the plan's recommendations into action.
Together, the Village of Riverside, local residents, business owners, property owners, and community stakeholders will explore opportunities in land use planning, image and historical character, residential and commercial development, transportation, parks and open space, and numerous other aspects important to the downtown area's prosperity.