Opinion: Taoseños invited to discuss the future of downtown

By Jim Pollard
Posted 3/22/18

Strong at Heart invites Taoseños to share ideas and discuss ways to create a strong downtown with opportunities for locals, places for the community to come together and thriving local …

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Opinion: Taoseños invited to discuss the future of downtown

Posted

Strong at Heart invites Taoseños to share ideas and discuss ways to create a strong downtown with opportunities for locals, places for the community to come together and thriving local businesses.

The meeting, called "Downtown Taos: Moving Forward," will be held Wednesday (March 28) at UNM's Bataan Memorial Hall (120 Civic Plaza Drive) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Dinner and refreshments will also be provided at no cost.

Creating a downtown where locals feel welcome, comfortable and have things to do, as well as making it easier to safely walk or bike in or through downtown, are among the top priorities to emerge from a recent series of "Downtown Strategy Sessions" held in February. Additionally, people indicated they want a downtown with the following characteristics and features:

•Safe, walkable and easy to access.

• Authentic and reflects our creativity, culture and heritage.

• A variety of active and inviting public spaces.

• A network of streets, alleys and pathways that connect people to places.

• A place where the community comes together.

• A range of housing choices for the people who live here.

• Fun and unique things for Taoseños to do and see.

• The economic and cultural heart of our community.

• A place where local businesses and entrepreneurs can thrive, grow and support our community.

Participants at the March 28 event will be asked to: (1) Provide input on the priorities identified for the downtown, (2) Share ideas for improvements they think the downtown needs; and, (3) Learn what other communities are doing to create a successful downtown (and consider the lessons that might be transferrable to Taos).

Input and ideas from "Downtown Taos: Moving Forward" will be used to inform an upcoming "Downtown Design Workshop," where designers will translate Taoseños ideas into actionable projects.

Strong at Heart is a collaborative effort of community volunteers, as well as a growing list of organizations, including the town of Taos, Taos County, UNM-Taos, Holy Cross Hospital, the Taos County Chamber of Commerce, Taos Land Trust, the Taos Community Foundation, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Taos Alive. For more information visit downtowntaos.com.

Jim Pollard is part of the Strong at Heart Project Management Team

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