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Wichita Leaders Exploring Ideas For Future Community Needs

Nadya Faulx

Wichita leaders and advisory board members are meeting this week with a national expert on building financially strong communities.

Charles Marohn is the founder and president of Strong Towns, a nonprofit that’s helping cities rethink development and growth options.

No doubt, Wichita is growing: There’s development downtown and on the west bank of the Arkansas River, as well as plans to redevelop what’s called the city core.

Along with all of that comes future transportation needs. Becky Tuttle, chair of the Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita, says the city implemented bicycle and pedestrian master plans to make getting around Wichita easier and safer.

"You develop those plans and you continue to make progress on them, but this is kind of a way to intentionally stop and think about what we’re doing and next steps, and how do we want our community to look in the future," Tuttle says.

She says the Strong Towns expert is expected to provide information on how a transportation system is a means of creating prosperity in a community.

Tuttle says economic development and an active transportation system are often tied to attracting and retaining young talent in the community.

"Biking and walking are not just recreations. They are also viable and safe forms of transportation that more and more people are interested in," Tuttle says.

She says as we further develop the community, city leaders need to consider the needs of the aging population as well.

The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita, Health ICT and WAMPO sponsored Marohn’s two-day visit to Wichita.

Two informational events are free and open to the public: Tuesday, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Wichita Art Museum and Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. in the community room at the downtown YMCA.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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