In early 2008, DKI began a planning process to update the 1996 Downtown Plan for Kalamazoo with assistance from LSL Planning, TSI Consulting Partners, Inc., and Downtown Parking Solutions. The goal was to craft a vision that reflected community values and guiding principles, through a collaborative public process. Building on that vision, this plan seeks to continue focus on downtown development and to present implementable actions for its continued success as an accessible, prosperous, diverse, vibrant, progressive and green downtown.

For an all-encompassing document that features the various elements of the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, including strategic priorities, vision elements, rationale, and transformative projects, view or download "A Vision & Strategy for the Future," 2009 MI Biz Insert, published in August 2009. 

VISION: The Promise of Downtown Kalamazoo is to be a focal point for a distinctive sense of community, forming the foundation for educational, economic and personal success for all. It identifies eight STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

Additionally, the Comprehensive Plan also identified nine TRANSFORMATIVE PROJECTS that include:

Materials and key documents detailing the Comprehensive Plan include:

The 2009 Downtown Comprehensive Plan continues the tradition of foresight and action established by the 1996 Downtown Plan. That plan set the overall framework to guide development and investment that makes downtown Kalamazoo attractive to residents, businesses, consumers and visitors alike. The key recommendations included:
  •  Gateways. Creating attractive entry points into downtown.
  •  Access, Traffic Patterns and Transit. Improving mobility in and around downtown.
  •  Pedestrian Environment. Designing attractive public spaces that meet the        needs of multiple users.
  •  Linkages. Encouraging greater synergy between downtown and its neighbors.
  •  Land Use and Development. Preparing a blueprint for success.
  •  Attractions. Creating appealing leisure activities for residents and visitors.
  •  Residential. Creating diverse opportunities for housing.
  •  Parking. Providing a customer-oriented, user friendly parking experience.
  •  Marketing and Perception. Spreading the good news about downtown.

Associated Planning Efforts

In addition to the 1996 Downtown Plan, a number of other studies and plans were conducted over the past several years. This plan draws upon previous data that has been collected and consolidates the diverse goals and recommendations into one cohesive document.

City of Kalamazoo Master Plan

The master plan is a document created by the City of Kalamazoo Planning Commission and adopted by the City Commission to guide the future growth and development of the city. A sound master plan helps ensure that Kalamazoo remains a highly desirable place to live, work or visit. This can be accomplished by preserving and enhancing the qualities of the city that the residents, businesses and property owners consider important. More information on the master plan is available on the City of Kalamazoo's website