Hampton wants to know what makes the city ‘special’


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — As the city begins preparing to compile its comprehensive plan to take them to the year 2040, leaders are asking residents to identify what is “special” to them.

“We’re looking for new perspectives on our city,” said Jonathan McBride, Housing & Neighborhood Services Manager for the City of Hampton.

On Tuesday night, the department hosted a kick off for the next installment for their state-mandated updates to their strategic and comprehensive plans. The plans help “provide a foundation for other city policy, planning and budgeting initiatives,” according to the city.

Several hundred residents gathered inside the Hampton Convention Center to hear from author Peter Kageyama. He has traveled the country in order to find out what makes cities “fun.” He said far too often city planning gives people the wrong idea.

“[People] believe city building is all about big stuff and they think that is all beyond them,” Kageyama said. “They think it is about roads and bridges and schools. But it can be much smaller in that.”

Often, it is the small elements that make a city special, according to Kageyama, such as a good view and a city park.

“That actually has a lot of value for communities,” Kageyama said.

Following his talk, residents were split up into groups, in order to come up with new ideas that would improve the quality of life in Hampton. 

“This will set the policy for the next 20 years for how the city moves forward,” Jonathan McBride, Whether we build parks every 5 miles or every half mile. This is the time to tell us how you want your city to look.”

The city will be taking input on the plan for several months before it is ultimately voted on by council sometime in late 2019. 

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