A 6-month, public-private process to create a shared 15-year vision, objectives, and recommendations to optimize the many attributes of the area.

DATES: May 2018 – December 2018

CLIENT/PROJECT PARTNERS: Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dane County, City of Madison, Destination Madison, Alliant Energy, Madison Gas and Electric

NEED: The Destination District Vision & Strategy Vision was sparked by the Alliant Energy Center planning process, beginning with outcomes from the 2017 Alliant Energy Center Vision & Implementation FrameworkThe long-term vision and implementation framework recommended a larger-area study be pursued in close coordination with the Alliant Energy Center’s campus master planning process to better knit the campus with the surrounding area.

In 2018 Dane County hired a consultant to prepare a Comprehensive Master Plan for the Alliant Energy Center Campus. Understanding that some areas surrounding the Alliant Energy Center are currently in the Town of Madison but slated for annexation to the cities of Madison and Fitchburg in 2022 and that the City of Madison would be undertaking a detailed effort for those areas in 2019, a group of public and private leaders came together to fund the preparation of the Destination District Vision and Strategy. The interim study advanced the vision of creating cohesive and connected Destination District anchored by the Alliant Energy Center.

V&A ROLE: With guidance from the ad-hoc public/private task force Vandewalle & Associates prepared the Destination District Vision & Strategy. Vandewalle & Associates led a six-month vision and strategy process informed by past plans, technical research, and past and new community input. This included facilitation of dozens of community conversations to shape an authentic south Madison district; regular meetings with the ad-hoc task force; city/county staff meetings; property owners, business, real estate and development interviews; neighborhood and community organizations; and a communitywide public engagement event with real time keypad polling and interactive stations. In addition, Vandewalle & Associates worked closely with the Alliant Energy Center Campus Master consultants to ensure both efforts were informing each other throughout the process.

OUTCOMES: The Destination District Vision & Strategy document is the final output of a 6-month public/private collaborative planning process for the non-residential areas surrounding the Alliant Energy Center. The collection of ideas and opportunities helped create a shared 15-year vision, objectives, and general recommendations to optimize the many attributes of the area. The final study is intended be used by Dane County and the cities of Madison and Fitchburg to inform their future short and long-range planning processes and capital improvements for the areas of the Town of Madison that are to be absorbed by the two jurisdictions in 2022. Moreover, the study identified key drivers to success and implementation collaborators to bring the vision to fruition. It was clear that no one entity could realize the vision on their own highlighted that there’s a role for everyone. Today, the ad-hoc task force is actively working to elevate the vision and engage the south Madison neighborhoods in this collaborative effort.