The City of Akron and the Downtown Akron Partnership have unveiled their Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan. It's a comprehensive plan to overhaul Downtown Akron, with the addition of street-level retail, business, residences, and infrastructure designed to connect the current hotspots of Downtown while maintaining the historic character of the neighborhood.
Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy and Downtown Akron Partnership President and CEO Suzie Graham joined Jasen for an in-depth look at the plan and to talk about how long it may take for the ideas to come to fruition.
It's already a busy week in Akron, as workers began demolition Monday of a portion of the Akron Innerbelt. The work means the intersection of MLK, N. Main, and Howard will be closed for six months. This means visitors to the Northside will have to detour to Summit St. and Furnace St. to access businesses like Luigi's and Jilly's Music Room.
At City Hall, city leaders unveiled their long-term housing plan. The key provision of the plan calls for a tax abatement for home construction.
Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy joined Jasen to address both projects and what they mean for Akronites.
Akron's new planning director has a goal of increasing the city's population to a number close to when the population was at its peak in the 1960s. Jason Segedy says he hopes to see Akron's population grow to 250,000 by 2050.
The latest numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that number stands at just under 198,000 (197,859).
It's an ambitious goal, but Segedy believes it's possible.
"Do you get job here, first, or do you make the city a better place to live?" said Segedy. "I think the answer to that is 'both.' We need to do both at the same time."
Segedy said it's also not necessarily all about recruiting people to Akron -- but it start with the millions of people who are already in Northeast Ohio.
"There are a lot of people in Northeast Ohio that might choose to make the city of Akron their home if we can make it a compelling place to live, so I want to start with that."
Segedy said increasing the population begins with building new housing, rehabilitating existing buildings, and encouraging entrepreneurship and commercial redevelopment.
Click here to read more from Jason Segedy's blog.
Jason Segedy is getting ready to make the move from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) to the cabinet of incoming Akron mayor Dan Horrigan.
Akron's new planning director has put forth a lot of ideas before being hired for Horrigan's cabinet.
Segedy says that those ideas helped him to get hired, but he's practical as well.
"They want someone in the cabinet that can kind of 'dream big', and I like to think that I'm a doer as well," Segedy tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "So, I try to do the pragmatic part of it too."
Segedy says he wants to bring people who come back to the area after leaving, back to Akron itself.
"We do get a lot of people who 'bounce back' to the area, that grow up here, move somewhere for a while and come back," Segedy says. "And I'd like to see the city do more to try to get them to maybe choose Akron over another community the region."
Segedy says he wants to help regrow Akron's shrinking population, and says he wants to end the "rust belt" population loss narrative.
The director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is leaving his position to become the city's new planning director.
Akron Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan announced that Jason Segedy, director of AMATS for the past seven years, will take over the new position in January.
Current AMATS planning administrator Curtis Baker will replace Segedy as interim director on January 4th.
(AMATS - News Release) - After seven years as director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), Jason Segedy will be leaving this position in January. Akron Mayor-elect Daniel Horrigan announced today that Segedy will be the city's new planning director.
Segedy became AMATS director in 2008 and has been with the agency since 1998. During his tenure as agency director, AMATS focused its efforts on increasing funding for road and bridge preservation, pursuing "Complete Streets" planning principles, and advocating better urban design to focus more on people than cars.
"Although it is never easy to leave a job one loves, the knowledge that our region - by working together - has been making great and steady progress towards becoming a better connected, cohesive and equitable place, makes it easier to say 'goodbye' to our wonderful organization and its members," Segedy said.
Curtis Baker, current AMATS planning administrator, will replace Segedy as interim director beginning Jan. 4. Baker has been with AMATS for over nine years and holds a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership from Miami University and a master's of city and regional planning from The Ohio State University