Mayor’s Institute on City Design : Creative Class Luncheon

Five members from the Leadership Council were invited to represent Metro EDGE at the Mayor's Institute on City Design : Creative Class Luncheon on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. From our perch on the 25th floor of the US Bank building at 621 Capitol Mall, we had an expansive view of the region, which framed our conversation beautifully. The Office of the Mayor and Downtown Sacramento Partnership put together a diverse panel of creatives, entrepreneurs, advocates, designers, developers, planners and more. The discussion focused on the JKL corridor, but ventured from downtown to mid-town and the R street corridor. We discussed what's working, what isn't, what the city needs, where we can draw inspiration from and more.

We've asked a couple attendees to share their thoughts on the discussion to help you get an insight into what the discussion was like. We also invite you to participate in the discussion in the comments below.

Sean O'Brien : : Merrill Lynch

2012 Metro EDGE Chair-Elect

Thanks’ to EDGE I got to partake in an amazing event today with the Mayor’s Institute on City Design and the Office of the Mayor. We got the opportunity to have an open forum with city planners from around the US and discuss the future of Sacramento. Let me tell you - sitting on the 25th floor of the US Bank tower overlooking Sacramento sure is the best place to dream about the possibilities. With all the things discussed – I walked away with the same positive opportunistic attitude that makes me love Sacramento. I'm looking forward to hearing our members thoughts in the comments below.

Alison MacLeod : : KP Public Affairs

Philanthropy Chair

Today’s discussion on the revitalization of the J/K/L corridors in downtown Sacramento showed that there is no shortage of good ideas on how to bring our city’s downtown to the next level. We have a ton of local strengths, and huge opportunities that we can capitalize on – from thriving local agriculture that supports farmers markets, to beautiful river landscapes, a huge population of young professionals working in the capitol community, to the arts and dining expertise – we have a lot of potential. At today’s brainstorming session we talked about cities and urban lifestyles that are appealing, and there are good lessons to be learned and practices to emulate. But really the question comes down to implementation. How do we turn these good ideas into action? How can we leverage the interest and enthusiasm of Sacramento’s young professionals, our business leaders and community residents to really transform our downtown? While excitement has grown for midtown, there are still a ton of vacant properties and less-than-appealing locations on downtown J/K/L. I know there is a lot of frustration around town regarding what the downtown core is missing – so how do translate those frustrations, and all the good ideas of what a new J/K/L vision should look like – into ACTION? The City Initiative will announce its recommendations tomorrow, and I hope that we can find a way to tackle them in a real and meaningful way, so that we maximize the energy and enthusiasm of the Sacramento downtown community to push for real improvements. The opportunity is there, and I hope we can bring together the stakeholders to make real progress toward our shared goal.

Phil Tretheway : : Marketing by Design

Communications Chair

This was a great discussion that I wish every EDGE member had a chance to participate in. It was refreshing to hear the  variety of opinions coming from similar and disparate backgrounds. I was proud to see that we are all an optimistic bunch, but also unafraid to acknowledge the big challenges we have ahead of us. We discussed our favorite spots in downtown/midtown, the challenges of JKL, the potential of JKL, the needs of downtown, the perceptions of downtown, parking, the success of midtown and second Saturday, and cities and neighborhoods that we wish Sacramento could emulate. Kunal Merchant, the mayor's Chief of Staff, and the amazing panel of experts from Mayor’s Institute on City Design (MICD) did a great job leading the conversation and asking great questions. I'm excited to see the recommendations that the MICD will be presenting to the City Council today at noon.

Ryan Porter : : Rudolph & Sletten, Inc

Events Co-Chair

I was lucky enough to participate in this great event with my peers noted above and I can't even express how refreshing it was to feel like my opinion can and IS making a difference locally. Although every EDGE member was not represented we made it our goal to relay any and all information / feedback we have received through our member surveys and through word of mouth at our events.

Over the course of this round table discussion roughly 20 local residents from a vast array of careers and backgrounds were asked pertinent questions about what the J/K/L street corridors needed from a development standpoint. Our feedback jumped around from discussing safety concerns specifically in the J/K/L area, to exploring development options of new and exciting mixed use buildings to creating an overall goal and vision for the Sacramento downtown area. With our feedback this panel of experts will give their best recommendation for how best to sum up the needs and desires of Sacramento's residents and put a game plan in place for the revitalization effort to continue in the heart of downtown. The great ideas, concepts and designs mentioned during the round table are a start, but the real challenge will be to make sure we carry the torch forward once the recommendations are handed down.

Overall I felt honored to be apart of such discussions and it was humbling to realize there are so many people in the area who are doing their part to make a difference in our town.

Today, 2/16/2011, the group will present its findings during a public meeting at Noon – 1:00 pm at City Hall. This meeting is open to the public, and all MetroEDGE members are  encouraged to attend.

We would love to hear from our members:

What are your favorite spots in Mid-town and Downtown?

What is JKL missing? What is downtown missing?

What cities, streets or neighborhoods that you've visited do you wish Sacramento would emulate?