Screenshot of the Northwest Downtown Business District that contains the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and The Switch. Photo via Northwest Downtown Business District website

I’ve got to admit it. When the Birmingham City Center Master Plan Final Recommendations (a must-read) were released last December, I feared it would be another one of those plans placed on the proverbial shelf, and never heard from again.

Thanks to Urban Impact and Rev Birmingham with Alabama Power and the City of Birmingham that is not going to happen this time.  

Beginning September 29th, there will be a series of virtual community roundtables where residents, business and property owners and members from the faith community will be encouraged to hear the facts about the Northwest Downtown Quadrant of the master plan, and provide feedback and guidance on how this plan should be executed. 

Birmingham Alabama
Four Little Girls statue at the entrance of Kelly Ingram Park in front of 16th Street Baptist Church. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Where is the Northwest Downtown Birmingham quadrant? It is the Civil Rights District and The Switch. An area that incorporates the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Innovation Depot and Historic 4th Avenue Business District.

Innovation Depot. Photo via Innovation Depot’s Facebook

Virtual Meetings September 29-October 1 – Executing the Plan

In announcing the virtual roundtables, the keyword for me is “execute.” This is the community’s opportunity to help guide the plan. The bottom line, we are moving from “planning” to “action.”

Here is a link to the 11-month timeline describing how we are going to get from Point A to Point B “executing” the Northwest Downtown Quadrant Master Plan.

Register Today to Participate

The Switch
Map courtesy of REV Birmingham

Interested in participating? Register for the Zoom virtual meeting and take the visioning survey.

Below is the schedule of roundtable meetings with registration links:

Map when the plan was a study. Photo by Sharron Mendel Swain

Seeking participants who live in the Fountain Heights, Smithfield Neighborhoods and visit the district from your neighborhood.

Seeking participants who work, own a business, conduct business, or own property in the Civil Rights District & The Switch.

Seeking people who worship, volunteer, or have a religious or non-profit connection to the district.

Global Destination

4th Avenue Business District
Take a stroll through the Historic 4th Ave Business District. Photo via Birmingham City Council

Urban Impact’s Ivan Holloway and Rev Birmingham’s David Fleming describe ways this new round of planning is a game changer.

“This planning effort is an opportunity to transform this historic district into a global destination through a common district theme with the appropriate development, while creating equity and opportunity for our community. Your participation and feedback is essential to getting it right,” says Ivan Holloway, Executive Director of Urban Impact Birmingham.

Entrance at Kelly Ingram Park in the Civil Rights District. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

“The Civil Rights District and The Switch each have great potential on their own – but together, the partners and stakeholders of both districts can create unstoppable momentum. The City Center Master Plan calls these districts out as areas of opportunity. This Northwest Downtown plan is the next level of strategic, actionable steps toward more vibrant districts in this part of downtown.” ~ David Fleming, REV Birmingham President and CEO

This is a big deal Birmingham. Register today.

  • Pat Byington

    Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama’s Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama’s cancer risk and mercury standards.