In April 2011, a tornado left an unprecedented path of destruction through the City of Tuscaloosa. The resilient spirit of the citizens of Tuscaloosa and the compassion of the people of Alabama has refused to let this tragedy define them. Working with the people of Tuscaloosa, BNIM and a team of local and national firms developed a plan that will help Tuscaloosa emerge from this disaster by rebuilding a stronger and more capable city than ever before.
In order to rebuild Tuscaloosa, hundreds of residents participated in meetings and thousands participated online, sharing ideas on how to shape the future of their community. After examining common themes and opportunities, the Tuscaloosa Forward Strategic Community Plan to Renew and Rebuild was created. The plan establishes a framework that the city government, the private sector, and the public can work from to achieve a common vision. The Plan illustrates several “big ideas” for rebuilding a stronger, healthier, better-connected, and more efficient Tuscaloosa. It also includes an implementation plan that has detailed information about how to accomplish the strategic initiatives including the next steps, timing, and resources required.
During conversations with a variety of participants in a variety of formats, several hundred specific ideas for rebuilding emerged. The ideas often converged around common themes and shared areas of focus. These themes were embodied in the seven “Big Ideas” that represent bold and visionary steps that can set Tuscaloosa on a path to become stronger than it was before the tornado. These ideas also have the momentum and consensus necessary to see through the hard work and details of implementation in order to become reality.
Tuscaloosa’s “Big Ideas” included:
1: Greenway “Path of Remembrance and Revitalization”
2: Connected Neighborhoods
3: Village Centers
4: Coordinated Facilities and Public Uses
5: Model Neighborhoods
6: Revitalized Corridors
7: Distinct Districts