Many of Springfield’s wealthier residents and its businesses have been migrating to the city’s outer edges for decades. This, coupled with the retrenchment of government, once Springfield’s life-blood, has resulted in a steady decline of the city’s downtown and surrounding older neighborhoods.
Urban sprawl and its devastating effects are present in cities and towns across America and many communities face challenges more daunting that ours. In fact, Springfield has all the tools it needs to inject life back into its urban core.
But does it have the will?
Efforts by committed urban activists, community, and business leaders to reverse urban sprawl and its effects are gaining steam. New downtown housing and creative placemaking strategies are being pursued, a popular downtown farmers market is expanding, urban gardens are increasing, regular creative arts and cultural events are on the rise, older homes and buildings are being rehabilitated, and downtown is home to a new business incubator and co-work space. Springfield’s medical district is transforming and tourism remains strong.
Continued and accelerated progress will require broad citywide community support.
So NOW is the time to reverse the sprawl and RESTORE THE CORE.
10 EASY WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP.
- SIGN ON TO RESTORE THE CORE!
Please add your name under CONTACT US so we can build a broad citywide constituency and momentum for restoring the core.
- REGISTER FOR UPDATES ON THE UACT WEBSITE AND LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
Keep up with urban matters both locally and nationally. Read from local contributors, see some fantastic urban art and more.
- SHARE IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS HERE
We want your ideas, big or small, as to how to RESTORE THE CORE in Springfield. If you would like to contribute an article, let us know.
- SUPPORT GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS ALREADY WORKING TO RESTORE THE CORE
So much is happening to bring life and vitality to Springfield’s urban core. Here are just a few groups to watch: Downtown Springfield, Inc.; Enos Park Neighborhood Association; Inner City Older Neighborhoods Coalition; The Springfield Project; genHKids Coalition; Grow Springfield; Faith Coalition for the Common Good; The Pharmacy Gallery & Arts Space; Springfield Art Association; Habitat for Humanity; Hoogland Center for the Arts, and many more…
- EAT, SHOP AND DO BUSINESS DOWNTOWN AND IN THE URBAN CORE
Need a book or music? Go to Lincoln Library, Prairie Archives or Recycled Records. Funny card? The Cardologist has it. Visit the Farmers Market, post your mail, get cash, find a lawyer or photographer or get a haircut. Need wifi and coffee? Check out Wm. Van’s Coffee House, Cafe Andiamo, Starbucks, Cafe Moxo, or grab a cup to-go from Custom Cup on Monroe. And there are art, antiques, specialty retail, restaurants and bars for all tastes and budgets. Having lunch or meetings with friends, the book club or board members – go downtown to Obed & Isaacs, Café Moxo, Augie’s Front Burner, Maldaner’s Restaurant and Catering, Café Brio, the Feed Store, and many more. Visit the restored Susie Q’s in Enos Park (check out the sculpture garden across the street) or Casa Real on North Grand, or Clays Popeye’s Barbecue in Southtown. Lack of Parking is NO EXCUSE – there is plenty of parking in the ramps, lots and on the street. Besides, the extra steps are good for us. Get a parking meter key from the city and reduce the need for pocket change.
- HOST YOUR EVENTS AND BUSINESS MEETINGS IN THE URBAN CORE
There are plenty of options – check out Memorial’s amazing state-of- the art Center for Learning and Innovation or Prairie Heart Institute’s Dove Conference Center, the Hoogland Center for the Arts, the Wyndham Springfield City Centre, the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, the Statehouse Inn, The Sangamo Club, Inn at 835, the Convention Center, the Presidential Library and Museum, Maldaner’s Restaurant, Cafe Andiamo and more…
- FIX AND IMPROVE EXISTING URBAN CORE BUSINESSES AND HOMES
Take pride in your property. Add outdoor flowerpots and seating, sweep the sidewalks, paint, consider a mural, pick up garbage, pull the weeds, or add new landscaping and lighting. Collaborate with neighboring businesses or residents.
- RELOCATE OR EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS OR ORGANIZATION TO THE URBAN CORE
Be on the forefront of change and bring your businesses and organizations to the urban core. It is vital that businesses and organizations rethink where they are located and assist to reverse urban sprawl.
- BECOME AN URBAN PIONEER AND LIVE IN THE URBAN CORE
If you are looking for a new place to live, consider the urban core. Downtown and urban core housing for all ages and income levels are all the rage. Buy and renovate a beautiful historic home in Enos Park or Vinegar Hill or rent in or around downtown. And don’t forget East Springfield – lots are inexpensive and entire blocks are transforming with new homes.
- ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE
Contact your elected officials and let them know you want to RESTORE THE CORE.