Riverside touted as Planning Model

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

When the panel of experts was asked to come up with the top three attractive or important destinations in the Riverfront District, Dr. Dawn Emerick, president and CEO for Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida, said “The ‘golden child’ is Riverside. A lot of the work that is going on, they’re really doing some progressive things. That work in Zone 1 was probably hitting all 10 standards in the checklist.”

The keynote speaker at the Mar. 26 luncheon, Dr. Richard Jackson of UCLA, posed that question, among others, to a panel that included 14 community and corporate leaders. The presentation was sponsored by ULI North Florida and AIA Jacksonville, and followed one-on-one meetings of the panelists with many of the companies and organizations in the Northbank area. The experts heard presentations, asked questions, and ultimately will make recommendations for the betterment of the Northbank Riverfront District.

The checklist that Emerick referred to is the Ten Design Principles & Healthy Outcomes from the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Building Healthy Places Initiative. The Health Planning Council added a list of potential health outcomes, if implemented correctly, to each of the 10 standards. According to Emerick, “Riverside meets them all.”

One of the presentations that the panelists heard prior to the luncheon was from Riverside Avondale Preservation and Stephen Tocknell, of Tocknell Planning Services, on the proposed 5 Points Concept Plan.

“I was impressed with the 5 Points plan,” said Carol Westmoreland, Florida Redevelopment Association. “That is a very big attractor…it will scale down the impact of cars at 5 Points through fantastic design.”

In an earlier conversation with Tocknell, the Avondale resident noted that the City of Jacksonville Planning Department made a 180-degree turn in thinking that City engineers would need to be involved. Once they reviewed Tocknell’s plans, they determined that it would not be necessary for them to have extensive engineering efforts in the project.

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