PROJECT DTO: ADVANCING DOWNTOWN ORLANDO 

City of Orlando, FL

As a regional economic center in central Florida, Downtown Orlando continues to attract growth and redevelopment. Major projects such as the opening of SunRail commuter rail service and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, construction of the new Amway Center and a downtown Major League Soccer stadium, the renovation of the Citrus Bowl and the rebuilding of Interstate 4, reflect significant investments that will shape the look, feel and function of the downtown area for the next several decades.

We partnered with the city to revisit its long term vision and redevelopment plans. The City wanted to ensure that future growth continues to foster the creation of a downtown that serves as a key destination for work and play and also provides for an attractive place to live for a diverse range of residents.

This work occurred in parallel with the Parramore Neighborhood Comprehensive Plan, which focused on improving public health outcomes and economic opportunities for the historic African American neighborhood located at the epicenter of many redevelopment projects.  We led the Downtown Orlando (DTO) visioning effort by facilitating a broad-based outreach and engagement strategy that included the use of social media and other unique tactics to gain insight into the community’s values, interests, desires and needs. Our team worked with over 100 appointed task force and advisory committee members comprised of downtown stakeholders to focus on nine distinct topic areas ranging from arts & culture to transportation to economic competitiveness and social fabric. Renaissance helped facilitate these discussions to identify and craft the key physical, economic and social elements of the DTO Vision.

The resulting vision and strategic plan defines actions the Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the City of Orlando and other partners can undertake for the next 10 years and beyond. Renaissance and its consulting team partners won an APA Florida Award of Excellence in 2015 in the Best Practices Category for Project DTO – Advancing Downtown Orlando.