It is a testament to the power of community collaboration and dedicated planning when residents, leaders, and even students come together to shape their neighborhood’s future. One of Planning NEXT’s directors, Michael Curtis, played a pivotal role in assisting Toulminville, a neighborhood of Mobile, AL, in developing their new neighborhood plan.
The Toulminville Neighborhood Plan is the first plan created using the City’s Neighborhood Planning Toolkit. The Neighborhood Planning Toolkit is a set of resources to help community groups proactively plan for and improve their neighborhoods. Planning NEXT helped Mobile create the toolkit in 2018.
The Toulminville planning process involved several community meetings over a period of nine months. Included in the plan is guidance on future development and infrastructure, including sidewalk priority locations, streetscape improvement locations, beautification priority locations, and new housing or commercial opportunities. It also includes actions that the City can do and many things that individuals and neighborhood groups can do.
One of the first steps that residents agreed to undertake as a result of the plan being adopted by the Mobile Planning Commission was to establish a Neighborhood Planning Group (NPG). The NPG is a group of citizen volunteers that will serve as stewards of the neighborhood plan, recruit other volunteers for action steps, help with ongoing community outreach, and work with the City to advance various actions to improve the neighborhood.
Since 2014, Michael and the Planning NEXT team have been shoulder-to-shoulder partners with the City of Mobile, Alabama. The partnership began when Planning NEXT assisted the City with developing their new comprehensive plan, titled Map for Mobile. This was the first comprehensive planning effort taken on by the City in over 20 years. Since then, Planning NEXT has continued to support Mobile in implementing the comprehensive plan through planning efforts such as the City’s Capital Improvements Plan, the Zoning Code Overhaul (UDC), the Three Mile Creek Greenway, and the Neighborhood Planning Toolkit.
Planning NEXT is proud to have been a part of this inspiring project and looks forward to seeing the positive changes the plan brings to Toulminville and to the other ways the team can support the City as they continue to work towards preservation, revitalization, and growth.