Listen First: City of Tampa seeks your input on mobility, visionTampa MOVES and Citywide Vision Plan

The City of Tampa plans 10 hour-long "Listen First'' virtual meetings from late February through April 2021 to hear residents, business owners, and interested stakeholders share their ideas for growth in the city.
Different meetings will cover different neighborhoods throughout the city, zeroing in on how best to address transportation objectives and initiatives for the next 30 years. The first two meetings have been scheduled for area one (East Tampa) on February 23rd and area two (the Heights northwest of downtown) on March 3rd. 

Tampa MOVES (Mobility, Opportunity, Vision, Equity, and Safety) is the overall plan that the Citywide Vision will complement and help create to shape the direction for growth. 

The meetings are designed to introduce the current planning efforts across the entire city, provide updates on transportation projects currently underway, share current challenges and opportunities to improve transportation, growth, and development, allow the opportunity for citizens to provide input on planning issues, and craft the vision for Tampa’s future. A question-and-answer session will invite discussion. 

“The process will eventually affect everything about how and where we move and get around the city including where trails, transit, and road improvements should be made,” say Engineer Danni Jorgenson, Tampa MOVES Project Manager, and Chief Planner Stephen Benson, who is leading Tampa MOVES on behalf of the City’s Planning Department. 

The process will also be used to make recommendations related to where growth should be encouraged and what the look, feel, and scale of buildings should be in different areas of the city.

The decisions made during these meetings have the potential to impact the daily lives of each resident, visitor, and business. Everyone is invited to join the meetings whether or not it’s in their particular neighborhood. Local libraries will also stream the meetings and meeting discussions will be posted at Tampa MOVES along with a survey. 

“The Tampa MOVES plan will help our city to become more sustainable and resilient through prioritizing modal choices for our residents and investing in a multi-modal system, supporting people who choose to walk, bike, take transit, and drive,” according to a prepared state by Jorgenson and Benson. 

The Citywide Vision plan includes the five focus areas of Mayor Jane Castor’s Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow (T3) Strategic Plan: housing affordability, infrastructure, and mobility, workforce development, land development and construction, sustainability and resilience. Other important issues that will be considered include urban design, land use and zoning, land development, growth management, neighborhood planning, and more. 

One of the 10 Listen First meetings will be presented in Spanish. 

The goal is to get more people to get involved in this collaborative effort so the city will be more equipped in moving forward and addressing the current challenges and future needs of the community. 

“The short-term goal is to develop an understanding of what people want to see, what people don’t want to see, and where there is common ground,’’ Jorgenson and Benson say. "The long-term goal is a common vision for the future of Tampa - mobility, growth, and land use.”  

“As people continue to relocate to Tampa, whether it’s because of our winning sports teams, amazing weather, great local culture, industry, or the many other reasons, it’s up to all of us to decide how we want the city to grow,” Jorgenson and Benson say. “The growth is coming, but what do we want our city to look like in 30 years, and how can we change policies, invest in infrastructure, or partner with the private industry to achieve that vision.”

For more information, including how to participate, visit the Tampa MOVES info page and Citywide Vision info page
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Read more articles by Lauren Wong.

Lauren Wong is a graduate of the University of Tampa with a degree in journalism who is freelancing while she looks for a full-time job. Originally from the Chicago area, she enjoys travel and aspires to be a travel photojournalist. During the summer of 2019, she worked for Premier Travel Media in Chicago and as a correspondent for Input Fort Wayne, another Issue Media group online magazine based in Indiana. She loves spending time outdoors camping, kayaking, and taking pictures.