TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The Tyler City Council has approved a consulting contract with Toole Design on Wednesday in an effort to enhance and revitalize the downtown area.
Toole Design is a team of planners, engineers and landscape architects that focus on designing spaces for people in motion, including innovative streets and dynamic communities where people of all ages and abilities can enjoy walking, biking and access to transit.
Toole Design initially visited Tyler for an initial collaboration with the city this past summer. This visit resulted in a preliminary vision and ideas exploring the practicality of creating an inspiring and home-grown vision for downtown Tyler that reflects its heritage, community values and context.
These visions and ideas, as well as teaming with Toole Design, came after the city joined the national movement toward downtown revitalization, which is supported by state-funded programs and Main Street America.
The city was inspired to take on this effort after they visited Sulphur Springs several times and saw the rapid growth that the city had undergone. Despite Sulphur Springs having a population of only 16,000 people, the city has made impressive strides in regards to place-making progress in their downtown area over the last decade. Since these efforts have been made, significant private investment has been made.
Now, Tyler plans to do the same thing. The goal of this new project with Toole Design is to enhance the public realm, which includes existing streets, green spaces, plazas and open areas, as well as create new signature public spaces that will be designed to attract people, activity and investment. Additionally, it will also create a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly area to enhance access and connections to downtown Tyler.
As things currently stand, the plan itself is set to be completed by July of this year. The preliminary vision and design is said to help move the revitalization process forward, allowing the city to develop phases for construction. Construction will support the new Visitors Center, the natural tourist hub and the development of a National Historic District.
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