of an enterprise begins with a sense “Transformation of crisis or urgency. No Institution will go through fundamental change unless it believes it is in deep trouble and needs to do something different to survive.
Lou Gerstner, Former IBM Chairman
Making the Grass Greener
Fresno Skyline Photo by Fomhoire
Recommendations to Retain, Attract, Develop, and Support Knowledge Workers
Repo rt to
Mayor Alan Autry & The Fresno City Council Pr esented by
Mayor’s Creative Economy Council
January 9, 2006
Why Should You Care?
The task of the Creative Economy Council was not to restate problems but rather to find solutions. The quotes that follow speak volumes about the need for transformation.
Fresno’s future is not for ONE of us; it’s for all of us. If you care about having a tax base, if you care about being able to offer a hand up (not a hand out), if you care about creating spaces that our children
WANT to come home to, then you care about this report.
Rebecca Ryan Next Generation Consulting and author of Hot Jobs-Cool Communities Report
The region suffers from a brain drain unlike any other in California. The loss of its best and brightest is felt from Fresno south to the Tehachapi Mountains. When the area’s most educated residents leave, ‘it takes away from the culture and intellectual life of the valley,’ said George Raney, 67. It also hamstrings the economy, strains the social fabric and puts a damper on the quality of life here in California’s
Los Angeles Times Maria L. LaGanga November 20, 2005
“Fresno, Miami, and Los Angeles face ongoing challenges to
“It’s a familiar story: A top student
integrate new immigrant populations, who often arrive in
from Edison High School graduates,
‘gateway’ neighborhoods with low levels of education and
leaves Fresno to study engineering or
labor market skills… The guiding principles must be to create
law, starts a business and then never
new neighborhoods of choice and connection.”
returns — except of course, for family
The Brookings Institution Katrina’s Window: Confronting Concentrated Poverty Across America October 2005
reunions. Or a talented emerging artist or journalist permanently trades the Valley’s lower cost of living for the acclaim provided by more
“Socioeconomic conditions in the San Joaquin Valley as measured by a range of variables including per capita income, poverty and unemployment rates, and median household income reveal an area that falls significantly below national and California averages.”
expensive cities. But Fresno a center of innovation? A destination for young artists, designers, and other idea people?” Creative Fresno Summit Summary April 2004
Congressional Research Service Preliminary Data on Federal Direct Expenditures & Possible Policy Issues Relating to the San Joaquin Valley February 4, 2005
“It isn’t enough to wire the streets; we “On a clear day, San Joaquin [Valley] looks like a bucolic farming community, complete with almond groves, cornfields and orange trees. But most of the time the Valley — trapped between the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges, with two major highways running north to south through it — is smoggy, filled with air that has fostered widespread respiratory disease.
also need to have wire in our offices, factories, schools, libraries, and homes. Enterprises need Intranets that allow employees to get email, share printers, and connect to administrative services. We also need
Fifteen percent of the region’s children have asthma, a rate three times the national average. Fresno — the Valley’s biggest city — has the third-highest rate of asthma in the country, and the San Joaquin Valley rivals Los Angeles and Houston for the dubious title of worst air quality in the nation.” Washington Post Juliet Eilperin September 26, 2005
wireless access for mobile workers, for convenience, and as a backup network if there are problems with the wireless system.” Report to the Community: Connecting Fresno County Assessing Our Readiness for the Networked World January 2002
Table of Contents
W hy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 G lossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 E xec utive S ummary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 M indset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4 S mart Gro wth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 U rban L ivin g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Q uality of Pla c e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 B eyond Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 C he c klist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 T h anks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3 App endi c es. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Glossary of Terms Creative Class
term coined by Richard Florida, a Carnegie Mellon social scientist, to describe an A emerging class of professionals whose job it is to develop new ideas. The creative class includes very specific fields of work and is a subset of the larger group of creative professionals.
O ften used synonymously with knowledge workers, a creative professional is a subset group of knowledge workers. A creative professional is defined as someone whose sole economic function is to create new ideas. This includes artists, architects, designers, technologists, and scientists.
Knowledge Workers Often used synonymously with creative professionals, knowledge workers are a broader group of professionals who, according to WhatIs.com, make a living at the tasks of developing or using knowledge. A knowledge worker contributes to the transformation and commerce of information. A term first used by Peter Drucker in his 1959 book, Landmarks of Tomorrow. This includes those in the information technology fields, academic professionals, researchers, lawyers, financial planners, and the like. Mindset
A ccording to Wikipedia, “A mindset, in decision theory and general systems theory, refers to a set of assumptions, methods or notations held by one or more people or groups of people which is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools. This phenomenon of cognitive bias is also sometimes described as mental inertia, ‘groupthink,’ or a ‘paradigm,’ and it is often difficult to counteract its effects upon analysis and decision making processes.”
A way of thinking that accepts the differences of people, keeps in mind the current and future trends and the effects of actions taken.
Techniques to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify or abandon a behavior for the benefit of individuals, groups or society as a whole.
Coined by Ray Oldenburg (1989), in The Great Good Place, third spaces are distinctive informal gathering places. They are not home (first place), and they are not work (second place). They are community-meeting places. Places where chance meetings occur and casually turn into leisurely discussions. Third spaces encourage sociability, enrich public life and democracy, and are crucial to a thriving community.
The Third Space brings about “the kinds of relationships and the diversity of human contact that are the essence of the city,” Oldenburg wrote. Tipping Point
A ccording to Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point, the term, “Tipping Point,” comes from the world of epidemiology. It’s the name given to that moment in an epidemic when a virus reaches critical mass. It’s the boiling point. It’s the moment on the graph when the line starts to shoot straight upwards.
Vehicle Miles Traveled
T he total number of miles traveled in automobile and other vehicles for a specified area.
Economic Opportunity + Creative Mindset + Quality of Place = More Knowledge Workers
his report makes some assumptions. It assumes Fresno would like to retain, attract, develop, and support more knowledge workers and creative professionals. New trends in economic and civic development connect positive and sustained growth to the activities of knowledge workers. The goal of this report is to stimulate thinking of civic leaders
in the City of Fresno to develop a place where creative professionals and knowledge workers will choose as their home. This report also assumes that change is needed and wanted; otherwise there is no need to do a report. For Fresno to retain, attract, develop, and support creative professionals and knowledge workers, there must be changes. The good news is that the change is simple; to start we only have to change our minds.
Methodology The Mayorâ€™s Creative Economy Council (CEC) is an advisory group made up of volunteers who were requested to develop recommendations for Mayor Alan Autry and the City of Fresno on how to retain, attract, develop, and support creative professionals.
The CEC was formed as a follow up to the Creative Fresno Survey, “Livability Priorities for the Fresno Creative Class” championed by Fresno City Council Member Henry T. Perea. CEC Members were chosen based on their ability to represent a wide constituency or a particular expertise. All were required to have an entrepreneurial perspective to problem solving, a desire to make the Fresno area a better place, and to have an understanding of the “Creative Cities” movement. This report was an effort by a group of citizens passionate about Fresno’s future. The CEC did not cover every possible topic in this report, but hopes that the major issues were addressed, and that the examples provided will clarify corresponding recommendations. The report is a start, not an end to recommendations to civic leaders on how the City of Fresno and its surrounding region can achieve greater success in becoming a “Creative City.” The CEC reviewed and shared information and research on the Creative Cities Movement and related quality of life topics. Meeting weekly over the course of three months, the council interviewed subject matter experts in key areas to gain an understanding of the issues and key drivers that would make the biggest impact on change. Some important topics, such as education, were outside the scope of this report — though clearly education plays a prominent role in the future of our region. Subject matter experts: Joyce Aiken, Fresno Arts Council Reza Assemi, Artist/Urban Developer JP Batmale, RJI Renewable Energy Task Force Tony Boren, Council of Fresno County Governments Paula Castadio, Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History and KVPT Cynthia Cooper, Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History Dan DeSantis, Fresno Regional Foundation John Downs, City of Fresno Transportation Department Gord Hume, City of London (Ontario, Canada) Gary Janzen, Janzen IdeaCorp Mark Keppler, Clovis Community Foundation and Tree Fresno Bill Kuebler, Tower District Marketing Association David Lighthall, Relational Culture Institute Jim Michael, RJI Technology Infrastructure Task Force Marlene Murphey, City of Fresno Redevelopment Agency Bruce Owdom, Tower District Marketing Committee
Jon Ruiz, City of Fresno and RJI Physical Infrastructure Task Force MaryAnne Seay, City of Fresno Parks & Recreation Department Dan Whitehurst, former Mayor and former Fresno City Council Member Russ Widmar, Fresno Yosemite International Airport Nick Yovino, City of Fresno Planning and Development On October 11, 2005, the CEC held a public summit facilitated by Tom Jones from WORx Consulting. Over 60 participants joined in the discussion and voiced recommendations. Additional feedback was gathered online via the Fresno CEC web site and other online resources. All of this information was considered in writing the final report and is included in the appendix.
The Creative Economy and Knowledge Workers Making Fresno more attractive to creative professionals is the way to grow our local economy. But who is a creative person/knowledge worker — and how can they play a role in our economic future? In a knowledge-based economy, knowledge workers are in demand. A hundred years ago the engines of the industrial age needed the might and muscle of skilled factory workers. Today, the processors of the information age require the ideas and creativity of skilled problem-solvers. This demand gives knowledge workers amazing options. A savvy graphic designer can pack up her Apple laptop, jump on a plane and run a successful business from anywhere with wireless access. A retired corporate executive can start a management consulting company and start-over with a second career. Knowledge workers have the power of choice, and they mostly choose cities that have robust economies with many career options and cultural and recreational amenities. According to The Hudson Institutes report, Beyond Workforce 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be 23 million Baby Boomers leaving the workforce as they reach retirement age. There are only 10 million non-Boomers to replace them. So, for every 2.3 people leaving the workforce, there is only one person to replace them — and they are more ethnically, age, and gender diverse. Cities and companies will need to compete to keep or attract the best and brightest. Creative people want to live and work in a progressive environment. If Fresno wants to keep and attract creative people it will have to work toward becoming a place where new ideas are respected, differences are accepted, and there is a palpable sense that Fresno is a special place. Fresno must embrace and be a catalyst for positive change that will enhance the quality of life of all segments of the community. Resisting
EXE CUTIVE SUMMARY
change sends a message that new ideas and innovative ways
for solving problems are not respected. Why would a creative
If for no other reason, a
person want to be in a place that resists change?
great motivation should
Creative people and knowledge workers use their head to solve problems. This is their talent. If there are not any problems, then there are not any problems to solve. If a city does not admit to having any problems, then solutions are not very welcome. We must be honest and forthright in recognizing the issues facing our community, and we must be open to new ways of solving those issues.
be: I want Fresno to be the kind of place where my children and grandchildren would like to return, would choose to raise their kids or even just to visit me. Are your children going to move back to Fresno after
The desire to solve problems can lead to innovative activity.
they have gone away to
Innovative activity attracts innovative people. Innovative
school? Will they come
people produce innovative solutions. Innovative solutions lead
back after they have
to the desire to solve problems. A positive cycle develops.
experienced the big city? When they are ready to
For a city to keep and attract creative people, it has to be
settle down, raise their
creative. Problems should be embraced as opportunities to
kids, and grow their careers
develop innovative solutions. Innovation based on knowledge
or start a business, will
should be encouraged and rewarded.
Fresno be a viable option?
Creativity requires a degree of boldness.
To survive economically in a creative economy,
Will young people leave
Fresno needs to foster the creativity of its
because there are not
people and to attract others into the population.
In the near future, either Fresno will become a
for career advancement?
part of the creative economy, or we will simply
Will young people leave
exist to provide cheap services to those cities and regions who
because there are not the
are thriving in the creative economy. Regions that only provide
lifestyle amenities that
services to the dominant economy can expect lower incomes
other cities offer? Will
and the continued flight of the best and brightest citizens, not
entrepreneurs be forced to
unlike a Third World country.
move their businesses into
Creativity requires a certain degree of boldness. America was and is a bold experiment. When JFK announced that we would put a man on the moon, the nation rose to the creative challenge. Fresno can learn from past examples of greatness. We can set challenges for ourselves that stretch our problemsolving abilities and attract others who are interested in joining the effort. This report takes on the challenge by articulating a set of goals and priorities that will lead to positive change and a brighter future for our citizens.
other regions to be able to have skilled employees? Will people have to leave our area to upgrade their education? These are the questions that should be asked by every Fresno family, parent, and grandparent.
What Factors Most Influence Knowledge Workers’ Location Decisions? Excerpt from The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida Balance Knowledge workers are highly mobile and essentially balance economic opportunity and lifestyle in selecting cities and regions that are attractive to them as places to live and work. Thus, challenging, high-paying, high tech jobs, while obviously necessary, are alone not enough to attract the best and the brightest. Labor Market Knowledge workers are highly mobile and anticipate moving among various employers and thus favor cities and regions with a “thick labor market” that offers the wide variety of employment opportunities required to sustain a career in high technology fields. Amenities “Quality of Place” — particularly the variety and accessibility of natural, recreational, and lifestyle amenities – is vital in attracting talent and thus in supporting a broad range of leading-edge high technology firms and industries. A Blend of Work and Leisure Knowledge workers seek environments that allow them to blend rather than separate their work and leisure. Due to the long work hours, fast-pace, and tight deadlines associated with work in high technology industries, they desire amenities that blend seamlessly with work and can be accessed quickly on a “just-in-time” basis when free time becomes available. A Sense of Place Knowledge workers increasingly prefer urban to suburban neighborhoods and seem particularly drawn to areas that feature interesting older structures, a range of public spaces, a blend of personal and commercial space, and the bustle and buzz of varied activity including work, shopping, and entertainment. They prefer the kind of authenticity and realness found in older cities and neighborhoods to the generic office complex and strip mall environment found in the “techno-burbs.” This increasingly urban orientation is exemplified in the tremendous success of high-tech districts such as New York’s Silicon Alley, San Francisco’s South of Market, and urban Seattle.
Active Lifestyle Knowledge workers prefer “doing” to “watching.” They prefer to participate in rather than watch sports and favor a diverse range of intense outdoor activities (rowing, sailing, cycling, rock climbing). Easy access to water and water-based recreation is particularly important. The Environment Environment – particularly air and water quality — matters. The new economy dramatically transforms the role of the environment and natural resources. What was once viewed as raw material and a sink for waste disposal must now be seen as an essential component of the total “Quality of Place” package required to attract talent and to generate economic growth. Diversity Knowledge workers seek cities and regions with diverse populations, progressive thinking, and inclusive attitudes toward a broad range of individual characteristics including race, nationality, lifestyle, and sexual preference. Knowledge workers, look for diversity as a general feature of an area, and as an indicator that they will be accepted, welcome and find people with whom they have shared interests. Creativity and Innovation Diversity is not simply an individual preference related to personal lifestyle but a basic precondition for the creativity and innovation needed to build and sustain a successful high tech region. Creativity and innovation are the key success factors of the new economy, and new ideas thrive in diverse environments. In other words, being competitive requires innovation, and innovation in turn requires diversity.
Creative Economy Council Report Highlights This report looks at four spheres of change that can lead to transforming Fresno into a community that will retain, attract, develop, and support knowledge workers: Mindset, Smart Growth, Urban Living, and Quality of Place. Within each are strategic goals and recommendations that can be put into action today.
MINDSET Mindset is a sphere of change that addresses how the community views itself and how public policy can change and reinvent those views. • Strategic Goal: “Stay the Course” Adhere to and fully integrate the goals of the 2025 Fresno General Plan. • Strategic Goal: “Location, Location, Location” Creatively market Fresno-area attributes both internally and externally. • Strategic Goal: “Take the Lead” As the geographic center of California, the Fresno Metropolitan Area should work to provide leadership and support to the entire Central Valley. • Strategic Goal: “Celebrate, Leverage and Capitalize on our Diversity” Ensure that Fresno is a place that celebrates its cultural and ethnic diversity.
SMART GROWTH Smart Growth is a sphere of change that addresses Fresno’s growing population through smart planning and long-range vision. • Strategic Goal: “More than Standard” Commit to excellence in design standards. • Strategic Goal: “Think Green” Establish the Fresno region as a national leader in clean technology development and entrepreneural startups. • Strategic Goal: “Prioritize Parks, not Parking” Foster and promote green spaces and outdoor recreation throughout the city.
URBAN Living Urban Living is a sphere of change that makes the connection between the health of the city’s urban core and the attractiveness of the community as a whole. • Strategic Goal: “Everything Downtown” Create and promote a vibrant and livable Downtown. • Strategic Goal: “Be Authentic” Prioritize the older, unique areas of Fresno. • Strategic Goal: “One City, Many Neighborhoods” Commit to developing individual districts. • Strategic Goal: “Move to the Center” Improve transportation to and in the urban core.
QUALITY OF PLACE This sphere of change addresses the importance of Quality of Place to knowledge workers. • Strategic Goal: “Third Spaces” Foster and promote those places that are neither home nor work, yet where community is built. • Strategic Goal: “Step Across the Digital Divide” Focus resources on access to and investment in technology. • Strategic Goal: “Listen to the Music” Promote and foster loud, lively stroll districts. • Strategic Goal: “From an ArtHop to an Art Revolution” Foster and promote art and culture.
Beyond today A long-term vision for the future of Fresno Those of us who declare ourselves knowledge workers and members of the Creative Class are proud to live in Fresno. We choose to live here. We believe that we can achieve the goals of this report and that we can make Fresno a great choice for our children.
Change a Mindset, Change a Community
resno, it really does suck here.” That is the tag line on a popular t-shirt currently being worn and talked about by knowledge workers both inside and outside the 559 area code. Unfortunately, some Fresno residents actually believe the hype. Even if we ignore those irony-filled misanthropes, Fresno is having a bit of
an identity crisis. Whether finding “g-things” at the new Gottschalks in Riverpark or buying art down on Mono Street, people living in Fresno have definite opinions about their community. Anyone who has lived in Fresno for more than five years realizes that things are changing, and Fresno is moving. But moving to where or to what? If it doesn’t really suck here, what should the Fresno t-shirt say? Everywhere you look there are signs of progress being made. All those fun restaurants and stores that used to be a special treat during that trip to the coast are now setting up shop in Fresno. The Bulldog Football team has broken into the top 25 in college rankings (again). A major air quality standard is within reach this winter. ArtHop continues to thrive and grow every month. So where is the disconnect, and how do we get the community to believe that Fresno is one of the best places to live on the West Coast? It comes down to changing a mindset or changing behavior in how we think about our community and ourselves. According to Wikipedia,
“A mindset, in decision theory and general systems theory, refers to a set of assumptions, methods or notations held by one or more people or groups of people which is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools. This phenomenon of cognitive bias is also sometimes described as mental inertia, ‘groupthink,’ or a ‘paradigm,’ and it is often difficult to counteract its effects upon analysis and decision making processes.” In simpler terms, people continue to hold certain assumptions because they have always held those assumptions. Even as they cheer the Bulldogs, walk around ArtHop or eat at Fagan’s downtown, the exciting and innovative changes occurring in Fresno have not impacted their general opinions and attitudes toward the community. The “It really does suck here” mindset is still entrenched in the community. As a result, we still communicate through old assumptions a view of Fresno that diminishes and undermines the change that is going on here. Knowledge workers look for adaptive mindsets, ones that quickly assess new situational attributes for possible personal and economic exploitation. The situational attributes in Fresno are changing, and the mindset can be changed as well. Behavior change theory is based on the belief that an individual takes several steps before engaging in significant shifts of behavior or cognitive patterns. An underlying theme of mindset and behavior change theory is that the most effective changes occur on multiple levels. For example, seat belts did not become commonly used in the United States until a variety of strategies working in collaboration reached a tipping point. According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point, the term, “Tipping Point,” comes from the world of epidemiology. It’s the name given to that moment in an epidemic when a virus reaches critical mass. It’s the boiling point. It’s the moment on the graph when the line starts to shoot straight upwards. With seat belt use the tipping point came after marketing campaigns, automobile industry regulations, and financial disincentives through increased ticketing for failure to wear a seat belt. There is a tipping point beginning to occur in Fresno, the mindset is changing. But to engage new knowledge workers and take full opportunity of the potential that currently exists in the region, the process must be given a jump-start.
Stay the Course Adhere to and fully integrate the goals of the 2025 Fresno General Plan. In 2002, city leaders adopted the 2025 Fresno General Plan. It is a strong piece of public policy with goals to: Enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Fresno and plan for the projected population within the moderately expanded urban boundary in a manner which will respect physical, environmental, fiscal, economic and social issues. Preserve and revitalize neighborhoods, the downtown, and historical resources. Support the Growth Alternatives Alliance â€œLandscapes of Choice-Principles and Strategiesâ€? as based upon the Ahwahnee Group Principles. Provide activity centers and intensity corridors within plan areas to create a mix of land uses and amenities to foster community identity and reduce travel. Protect, preserve, and enhance significant biological, archaeological, and paleontological resources and critical natural resources, including, but not limited to, air, water, agricultural soils, minerals, plants, and wildlife resources. Recognize, respect and plan for Fresnoâ€™s cultural, social, and ethnic diversity What gives the 2025 Fresno General Plan power is not the well thought out list of 17 goals, but rather the implementation of these goals throughout the community. The document should be open on the desk of every city official and referred to as a way to do business, not an obstacle to circumnavigate. Many of the goals of the document fall in line with the needs of knowledge workers and the creative class. Yet if the document merely gathers dust on the shelves of city hall and county offices, potential to recreate Fresno will be lost.
Recommendations Follow the guidelines and goals of the 2025 Fresno General Plan. Educate municipal staff and the general public on the 2025 plan and encourage their support. Be accountable for delays or failures to implement the plan. Use the document proactively. Deliver annual report cards on the progress being made to reach the goals of the 2025 plan. Measure the impact of every initiative against the plan to determine the impact: no impact, negative impact, or positive 16
Location, Location, Location Creatively market Fresno-area attributes both internally and externally. If, as the old adage says, location is everything, Fresno is in fairly good shape. Yet instead of dancing a conga line from Yosemite to the coast, many folks sit at home believing there is nothing to do in and around Fresno. But where else in the United States can you visit three national parks, drive along a world famous coastline, drink some of the nation’s best wine, watch a top twenty-five college football team, catch the Rolling Stones’ latest tour, and buy a reasonable priced California bungalow — all in the same weekend? In addition to maximizing Fresno’s proximity to a host of wonderful amenities, the internal strengths of the community need to be strategically communicated. Nike didn’t really “Just Do It” and McDonald’s isn’t really “a break” most of us “deserve today.” Thought and strategy were put behind the marketing of these American classic brands, and that strategy leads to tangible, measurable economic and market gains. If Fresno is to shed its negative image, it will not happen with the multitude of disparate marketing and promotional initiatives currently being discussed by community organizations. Fresno’s image and brand need to become a priority. Much of the hard work has been done to ensure that we “walk the walk,” now we just need a strategy for “talkin’ the talk.” The brand and marketing effort must be real and authentic as opposed to a million-dollar advertising campaign driven by a feeble slogan.
Recommendations Strengthen the city’s public relations by either contracting with an experienced marketing firm or hiring a city marketing staff position (in addition to the Public Information Officer). Responsibilities should include:
• Develop a strategic marketing plan to properly communicate the brand/ image of the area both internally and externally.
• Prioritize developing relationships with local media to better communicate success stories on a regular basis.
• Coordinate and leverage existing marketing activities throughout the community. Increase the access and use of alternative media sources: upgrade website, fund community portal, train key officials on the possible use of blogs. Work with local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategy, welcome kit, and other tactics to embrace newcomers to the Fresno area. Provide a cohesive and concise message to key state and federal policy-makers that reflects the Valley’s regional goals. Create a contract or staff position for a film ombudsman, a role that requires successful industry experience and is tasked with selling our region to appropriately-sized productions and assisting the production while here to make the process easy. The person in this role would be involved in putting together a database of all locally available equipment, crew, and talent, and they would work with the local educational institutions to develop a qualified, reliable workforce. Once the film ombudsman is retained, develop a film festival for independent filmmakers where they arrive on a Monday and show their short film on Sunday. We provide a producer and DV camera for each filmmaker. They spend the week shooting and editing, and then the films show the following weekend.
Take the Lead As the geographic center of California, the Fresno Metropolitan Area should work to provide leadership and support to the entire Central Valley. If California is a bellwether for the nation, then Fresno is a bellwether for the Central Valley. Fresno’s location, economy and access make it the logical choice as regional capitol of the San Joaquin Valley. Yet over the past few decades, some Valley-wide opportunities have been lost due to political infighting and turf battles. As Mayor Autry recently stated, “What is good for the Valley, is good for Fresno.” Regionalism is the only path that will pull the Valley off of the top of the lists charting poverty, air pollution, and educational failures. The San Joaquin Valley Regional Association of California Counties recently adopted a set of growth principles outlining a shared vision for the area. The shift to focus on regionalism must take a firm hold in the mindset of policy makers and inevitable compromises must be made. Regionalism is an exercise in trade-offs, and Fresno can set the example for the rest of the Valley.
Recommendations Continue to follow through with involvement and recommendations regarding the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. Look for ways to lead regional environmental and transportation efforts through unified federal lobbying and the leverage of funds. Adhere to the Growth Principles adopted by the San Joaquin Valley Regional Association of California Counties. Work in collaboration with Madera County to ease development tension along the San Joaquin River. Courtesy of San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District
Celebrate, Leverage and Capitalize on our Diversity Ensure that Fresno is a place that celebrates its cultural and ethnic diversity. Over the course of a year, an around-the-world trip could be taken just by visiting the various festivals and events held in the Fresno area. From the Portuguese Festa to Arte Américas’ Friday night concerts to Reel Pride to ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. Yet many of these events occur in a silo of cultural anonymity. This diversity should be embraced across cultural lines and promoted as a way to be introduced to new cultures. Each of the
Photo Courtesy of arte Américas
the Rogue Festival, Fresno is full of exciting and unusual
extraordinary level of civic pride, and this level of pride should be a part of the shift in community mindset. Fresno has an enormous untapped resource within its immigrant population. These are the future knowledge workers who took the courageous step to cross a border or even an ocean to find a better quality of life.
copyright 2005 Fresno Reel Pride. Photo by Tamela Ryatt
groups working hard to organize these events has an
Recommendations Support arts, culture and music in the Fresno area through zoning ordinances and funding opportunities
• Utilize Grizzlies Stadium for outdoor concerts • Support the creation of a public access television channels Market area’s diversity and leverage current events and programs to bring in additional funding and economic development. Support and fund multicultural and agricultural-related festivals on the Fulton Mall. Changing a community’s mindset is not an easy task. It involves a calculated strategic plan based on genuine community attributes. The attributes are here, now we just need to change the way we think about them, because “it really doesn’t suck here.”
DID YOU KNOW
Hispanic Outlook, a national magazine, recently confirmed that Fresno State was the 14th largest Hispanic degree granting institution in the entire United States, surpassing University of Arizona and Texas A&M.
Be Smart About Growth
mart Growth considers environmental factors in city planning and development. How do we create a community with healthy neighborhoods and a vibrant economy, while minimizing our impact on our environment? How do we create a walkable community, with a sustainable infrastructure and public transportation options that
are preferable to the automobile? Creative professionals in the field of planning have been working on these issues for decades. How can Fresno get out ahead of the parade in the area of Smart Growth? How can we engage creative people in helping to find solutions to our issues regarding growth? People who have the luxury to choose where they would like to live are choosing places that are wellplanned communities.
Photos by John Dahlberg
Think about the best vacation locations in the world. Whether it is Paris, San Francisco, or Australia, certain words come to mind… exciting, clean, beautiful, safe, green, and walkable. No one ever takes vacation photos of suburban subdivisions or strip malls. Smart Growth not only makes aesthetic and environmental sense, more and more it makes economic sense. People are affected by their environment. Commitment to a higher standard of aesthetics in all that we do will have an affect on our success in solving our social issues. A harsh concrete and asphalt environment, with strip malls and tract houses, is a difficult place to sell to those who have a choice to live somewhere more pleasing. It seems logical to conclude that a city with great landscaping, parks, and beautiful buildings is going to be more attractive than one that does not have these amenities.
About one-third of Americans want to live in places that embody new community design with a focus on real neighborhoods, a strong sense of community, walkable streets, and less dependence on cars, but less than one percent of housing offers such mixed-use places.
National Governor’s Association
Photo courtesy of Johnson Architecture
More than Standard Commit to excellence in design standards. Contrary to popular belief, design standards are not anti-business. If they were, Santa Barbara would be a ghost town. Instead, communities with good design standards flourish as tourist destinations and their property values reflect peopleâ€™s desire to live in them. Design standards can protect a financial investment in an area, by assuring that all new development will be at or above the community standard. It takes selfesteem to say â€œNoâ€? to some projects, if they are not improving our overall quality. Design standards can be specifically helpful to older neighborhoods which have been over-run with cheap apartments, low-income housing that drags down the neighborhood, unfortunate degradation of historic homes, and new commercial buildings which are designed to look like bunkers. Fresno has a design community that can be utilized to help us achieve higher standards. Most design professionals would be honored to be included in the processes of improving the quality of the built and landscaped environment in Fresno. They are an incredible resource. There is a reason that new housing developments have design standards. People are somewhat limited in their individual expression, but for the greater good. People in
Photo by John Dahlberg
our older neighborhoods deserve the same protections.
In urban Fresno, design standards should express good urban design. City policies that require landscape setbacks in an area where storefronts were historically built to the sidewalk do not make sense. Policies have been created for suburban standards and they are often detrimental to the health of our urban core. The urban/downtown areas deserve to have policies reviewed and adjusted to fit within their specific environment. Several states have conducted studies to determine the effects of creating historic districts, which offer protection to historic properties. One such study, The Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation in Georgia, concludes that districts that recognize the importance of historic preservation have greater property values than those which do not receive historic designation/protection. Downtown Fresno can benefit from design standards that will require buildings to have
Districts that recognize the importance of historic preservation have greater property values than those who do not receive historic designation/protection.
a presence on the sidewalk. This will add to downtownâ€™s aesthetics and to downtownâ€™s safety. Suburban-styled design, which places buildings behind large surface parking lots, will be detrimental to downtownâ€™s recovery. It makes economic and business sense to have higher standards.
Photo courtesy of Johnson Architecture
Recommendations Lighting should be incorporated into every design. Building materials should compliment each other. Scale and mass of buildings should be considered during design review. Buildings that take up an entire block should be discouraged. Parking garages must be built with retail facing every sidewalk. Illustrations courtesy of Johnson Architecture
The historic grid of two-way streets should be restored and protected for ease of use for consumers. Code enforcement should be proactive, protecting neighborhoods from owners who do not maintain their property. Restore single-family zoning to established neighborhoods. Design standards should be created for older neighborhoods and commercial districts. Work to break down the economic silos and diffuse the pockets of poverty throughout the city by promoting mixed-income housing in all areas. It is imperative that planners and elected officials stay current with the best practices of urban design and planning issues.
Think Green Establish the Fresno region as a national leader in clean technology development and entrepreneurial startups. As Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green,” but as energy prices continue to rise, being green is becoming more economical. The City of Fresno is already leading the way through bold initiatives in both solar energy and clean fleets, but these initiatives must become commonplace and the status quo at City Hall. In 2004, Clean Edge published, Harnessing San Francisco’s Clean-Tech Future — A Progress Report outlining how San Francisco could become a leader in the Clean Energy Sector. According to the report, “Clean technology comprises a diverse range of products, services, and processes that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of limited natural resources, and reduce or eliminate pollution and toxic wastes. As a rule, clean technologies are competitive with, if not superior to, their conventional counterparts. And these technologies
DID YOU KNOW
The City of Fresno was awarded the Green Power Leadership Award in 2005 for installing one of the largest municipal solar projects in the nation. Covering 62,500 square feet of parking canopy roof at Fresno’s 14-acre Municipal Service Center campus and numerous bus shelters, the solar electric system has a peak capacity of 668 kilowatts.
offer additional benefits such as contributing to energy and national security, stimulating the economy by creating new business opportunities and jobs, and improving quality of life by providing healthier workplaces and neighborhoods.” Although San Francisco does have the technology
What would Fresno be like if…
infrastructure upon which to build a clean technology
The Mayor declared that Fresno will
future, Fresno has many natural attributes San Francisco
be petroleum free in 10 years, and has an agreement with Fresno State to utilize its resources to partner toward this goal.
can never match. The agricultural infrastructure, the natural resources (including abundant sunshine), the relatively inexpensive land, and the entrepreneurship potential all give Fresno an edge when it comes to becoming a clean technology leader.
Yet, Fresno’s edge will be lost if a cohesive strategy cannot be developed or implemented quickly. Rising fossil fuel prices, national security issues, declining supply levels, and increased regulation will make clean technology the status quo for the future. Fresno should lead this change and reap the economic benefits by being the first out of the gate.
What would Fresno be like if…
Photo by Lynn Baker
In 2015, Fresno State opens the “Alan Autry Institute for the Research and Development of Clean Energy.” Following breakthroughs in technology, all new homes in Fresno are required to have solar energy tiles on their roofs and gray-water systems for landscape irrigation. Said the Mayor, “We can’t ask other people to clean up their operations if we’re not willing to do it ourselves.”
Recommendations Commission a formal study researching the potential for Fresno to become a national leader in clean technology. Leverage this potential to create high paying jobs by supporting clean technology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Adhere to “Landscape of Choice Guidelines.” Offer to fast-track the permitting process for developers who meet or exceed green building standards. Educate the public and city leaders on the connection between environmental health, economic health and physical health. Commission an advisory panel to research current motorized gardening equipment-use impacts and recommend potential ways to regulate lawn equipment to minimize noise, water and air pollution. Continue to exceed standards for water quality and encourage the population to use water efficiently as water meters come online. The connection between environmental health of the community and the physical and economic health of the community must be in the forefront of policy decision.
Prioritize Parks, not Parking Foster and promote green spaces and outdoor recreation throughout the city. Green spaces contribute to clean air, provide recreation for people, work as scenic buffers in an urban landscape, and help define the character of an area. Green spaces come in multiple forms: parks, parkways, greenbelts, and restored corridors along rivers, streams, canals, and rail beds. According to West Coast Environmental Law, studies across North America have shown that proximity to natural green space increases property values by 15 to 30 percent. Furthermore, The Nature Conservatory points out that researchers have found that green space in urban areas in the form of parks, trees, and walking trails reduces the pressures of living in poverty, fosters a sense of community, contributes to a healthier environment, and reduces fear, violent behavior, and reported crimes. Fresno can make a commitment to a long-term campaign to change Fresno into a leader in the development of green space. The Fresno-Clovis Master Urban Parkway Plan can become
the “signature amenity” for Fresno — something the we are known for nationally. Progress has already been made: the City recently renewed development fees for parks, and back in the late 1980’s the City Council passed a Shade Tree Ordinance. The San Joaquin River Parkway Trust and Tree Fresno have been active and respected members of the community. But parks and greenery must be kept among the top priority issues for the city in order to reap the long-term benefits.
Photo by Lynn Baker
Recreation has to be varied and accessible. It’s great that we have skiing just two hours away, but what do you do after work during the work week? Are there accessible trails to run, skate, bike or walk? If you have to drive to the trails, they are too far away. As a result, the implementation of the approximately 200-mile FresnoClovis Master Urban Parkway Plan should be a priority — with substantial progress toward its completion in the next ten years. We recommend that the City aggressively promote the region’s many activities to our local residents and also to those who might be looking to visit or move here. How long does it take to get to sailing at Millerton? How long does it take to hike in the foothills? Where can people fly fish or canoe on the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers? Where are the nearest spots to mountain bike or to learn to kayak?
Recommendations Within 10 years meet or exceed state standards for average park space per capita. Create additional pocket parks. Implement the Fresno-Clovis Master Urban Parkway Plan by converting canal banks and rail beds to trails and greenbelts. Convert low functioning ponding basins into parks or beautified open space. Allow permits for rooftop gardens and develop rooftop gardens on city buildings.
COURTESY SAN JOAQUIN AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT
Utilize City websites to promote both local and regional recreation opportunities.
URBAN Livin g
A Thriving Urban Center
owntown is Fresno’s calling card. More than any other neighborhood, it showcases the personality and essence of our city. When the
evening news needs a backdrop for the weather report, it shows an aerial shot of downtown Fresno. When The Fresno Bee needs a header for its website, it shows the downtown skyline. When local associations seek to brand themselves, they turn to the “Welcome to Fresno” sign on south Van Ness. The Security Bank Building, the Water Tower — these are the landmarks that are unique to our community. These are the images that come to mind when we think of Fresno. Creative professionals demand a thriving urban space. Without one, Fresno will continue to lose creative minds to San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and the like.
Everything Downtown Create and promote a vibrant and livable Downtown The key to a thriving downtown is simple: people. For a downtown to be considered successful, there must be human activity well beyond the 9-5 workday. To further expand the hours of activity, people must have viable options to live downtown.
Housing downtown does more than attract creative professionals. It increases housing density, slowing the city’s outward growth. It provides affordable alternatives to the singlefamily homes that have dominated the region for decades. It reduces Vehicle Miles Traveled — folks can walk to work instead of drive.
Many creative professionals want to live in an urban environment. They want to walk to work. They want to walk to the bar, to the store. They want to be in close proximity to other creative professionals. If we want our creative sons and daughters to stay in town, we have to give them a cool place to live. And nowhere would be cooler than downtown. But housing downtown does more than attract creative professionals. It increases housing density, slowing the city’s outward growth. It provides affordable alternatives to the singlefamily homes that have dominated the region for decades. It reduces Vehicle Miles Traveled — folks can walk to work instead of drive. More units downtown will increase property taxes. Housing downtown has correctly been a priority at City Hall for years, but even more must be done to encourage more options.
It was recently discussed at the International Council of Shopping Centers, Western Regional Conference, that retail site selectors look to a city’s school districts and downtown to decide where to go. Until the 1960’s, Fresno’s activity center was at the intersection of Fulton and Mariposa streets. Fresno was considered a futuristic city when the Fulton Mall was created. However, downtown Fresno continued its decline, in spite of the Mall, as did virtually every other downtown in America. There are many possible reasons for the decline of our downtown, but that is not the focus of this report.
The existing situation on and around the Fulton Mall needs to change. This is Fresnoâ€™s historic downtown. This is the place where we came from. By revitalizing this area, every other successful project that the City has already completed will be connected. Discussions must rise above the antagonistic debate over whether or not to put traffic back onto Fulton Street. The clear direction must be to revitalize this area. We believe that it is possible to enliven this area with or without a street. Change the debate to: What is the best way to revitalize our historic downtown area (the Fulton Mall). What can we learn from the experience of other cities? How do we have a rational debate about the future of Fulton? How can we return this area to a place where conventioneers would stroll for shopping and dining? How can we create a vibrant public space where we go to celebrate our heritage, our holidays, and ourselves? We suggest that the City take a leadership role in the facilitation of a plan for our historic central business district. Please do not piecemeal the Fulton area into different projects, but return this area that was our starting place, back to a fun exciting area.
Photo by Lynn Baker
Courtesy Taylor group Architects
Courtesy Taylor group Architects
Recommendations Incentivize good development.
• Provide density bonuses to developers building in the city’s core.
• Ensure that good downtown design reflects quality, but allow for creativity above and beyond the standard.
• Fast track the permitting process for downtown housing.
• Create incentives for downtown infill housing.
• Investigate other incentives to build and restore downtown. Streamline processes
• Assist developers with stalled projects (e.g. Baseball Lofts, Security Bank Building.)
• Create one ‘go-to’ person or liaison at City Hall for each project, so developers don’t waste time fighting red tape.
• Continue to promote mixed-use projects and relax prohibitive zoning restrictions.
• Remove 1960’s facades covering historic storefronts on older buildings, especially within the Fulton Mall area. Not only does this restore historic buildings, but it also re-opens second stories for loft spaces.
Be Authentic Prioritize the older, unique areas of Fresno. According to Richard Florida, creative professionals “increasingly prefer urban to suburban neighborhoods and seem particularly drawn to areas that feature interesting older structures, a range of public spaces, a blend of personal and commercial space, and the bustle and buzz of varied activity including work, shopping, and entertainment. They prefer the kind of authenticity and realness found in older cities and neighborhoods to the generic office complex and strip mall environment found in the “techno-burbs.” The people that we want to retain and attract to drive Fresno’s economy over the next 20 years want to live in a place with “authenticity” and “realness.” Historic buildings are more than cultural artifacts that should be preserved for our sense of history. They are agents of economic growth, attracting a class of workers that are integral to the prosperity of the city.
Photo by Jesse Padilla
Recommendations Prioritize the preservation of existing structures. Decision criteria for demolition should factor in an ascetically authentic city’s ability to attract the creative class. Offer incentives to restore rather than rebuild. Aggressively remove 1960’s facades covering historic storefronts on older buildings. Not only would this restore historic buildings, but it would also re-open second stories for loft spaces. The Redevelopment Agency should fund the renovation of old theatres downtown. Use eminent domain wisely:
• On old buildings that need to be restored, but are currently being left to rot, eminent domain makes sense. For example, the Liberty or Crest Theatres could be renovated and brought back in dramatic fashion.
• In areas where independent and creative ideas are driving new businesses eminent domain should not be used. For example, the percolation of new businesses and galleries around Mono Street is brewing exciting possibilities. Work around and support the burgeoning gallery cluster at Van Ness Avenue and Mono Street, in any master development. These galleries bring hundreds of people downtown every month, and should be the poster children for authentic Fresno. Improve communication efforts with business owners in project areas.
What would Fresno be like if… Fresno’s Mayor, actor Alan Autry, has convened an unofficial group of Fresnans to look into the materialization of something he calls The Fresno Style. Santa Fe offers the Southwestern style of buildings, cooking and art. Paris and New York have had their various Art Schools of collective style. So what is the Fresno-style? What makes us different and special? How should a home be designed to best fit our environment? Which chefs are cooking with local produce and are highlighting our multi-ethnic community? What are the common themes in our art, writing and music? The Mayor believes that Fresno has a style all its own, and that when it is pierced, Fresnans will understand themselves better and the world will clamor for more.
One City, Many Neighborhoods Commit to developing individual districts. One measure of a great city is the number of its diverse neighborhoods. Downtown already has natural boundaries that differentiate Chinatown from the Fulton Mall, the Cultural Arts District from Jefferson-Lowell. The uniqueness of these neighborhoods should be encouraged, not only to promote a lively patchwork of walkable shopping and living districts, but also to more efficiently manage them. The City should encourage quality neighborhoods around downtown, and help make Jefferson-Lowell and West Fresno more successful like the Tower District neighborhoods, or the residential blocks that surround Huntington Blvd. Each of us can envision the attributes of a healthy neighborhood. We all want to feel safe. We all want our investment in our home to be secure. We would all like to be surrounded by neighbors who care and who have pride in their neighborhood. We would like our children to be able to play outside, and to know our neighbors well enough to know that they will be helpful if they are needed. Well-cared for houses, yards, streets, trees, and public areas complete this picture. Many cities throughout the country have utilized an approach that breaks down large urban areas into manageable districts. Each district has stakeholders that oversee their specific areaâ€™s health and well-being. The City can coordinate these districts to help facilitate their revitalization and to help them to share resources. Each district will develop the unique character of their given area, making downtown Fresno a place with many strong parts, making for a stronger whole.
Recommendations City and stakeholders should create new downtown districts. Districts should create their own design guidelines unique to that district to beautify the areas with individual character. Districts should provide lights, signage, and greenery to solidify their identities. The City should coordinate District efforts to maximize resources.
Courtesy of Tower District Marketing Association
What would Fresno be like if… The City of Fresno’s Economic Development Alliance has announced that they will focus all of their efforts toward stimulating local business development. Economic Development employees will be working with people who are interested in starting businesses, expanding businesses, creating new markets, or creating cooperative purchasing groups. The City’s new Economic Development Director, Hans Garcia Xiong said, “We don’t need to lure businesses here, we have all of the talent here already. We just need to pull our people together to create, make and sell.” 37
Move to the Center Improve Transportation to and in the urban core. Transportation to, from, and within the urban core is essential to the success of downtown. In a lively urban center, the car is left behind in favor or walking, biking, or public transportation. In downtown Fresno however, the car is often the only viable option. To encourage people to visit downtown, and to improve the experience of its residents, the city should focus on making transportation easy. Downtown’s streets are a maze of diversions and one-way streets. Thoroughfare after thoroughfare has been diverted to make way for new developments, often leaving unintended and unattractive consequences. The 5-way stop on Broadway and Sacramento was created to accommodate development, but now must be restored to a 4-way stop at added expense. The IRS building at Broadway and Tuolumne has created a traffic hassle and further isolated the Fulton Mall, without any noticeable increase of activity. An orderly grid system helps improve transportation flow, and makes downtown less intimidating. Directional signage must be put in place to help downtown visitors navigate this unfamiliar area. Many cities have created successful signage programs. Test this opinion: ask a newcomer to meet you at the stage at Fulton and Mariposa. Don’t give them directions or guide them to parking. They’ll let you know when the signage is good enough. A college student should be able to hop on public transportation and be at the central library painlessly and easily. Tower District residents should feel free to have dinner and go club hopping downtown on Saturday night. Shoppers from all over the city should feel safe and comfortable parking their car in a central location, and walking to the bustling shops.
Illustrations by Dan Zack
Recommendations Create efficient public transportation routes to and from Downtown and the Tower District to Fresno State (For example: add a weekend evening trolley to CSUF). Evaluate the lunchtime trolley service to the Tower District. Could it be extended or evolved to accommodate a nighttime crowd? Public transportation travel times and convenience on the Fresno StateDowntown route should be studied. Preserve the downtown traffic grid and refuse to divert any more thoroughfares. For example, maintain H Street as a thoroughfare in the South of Stadium project. Recommend a traffic study on the Fulton Mall with respect to the Forest City project. Create effective signage directing drivers to points of interest (e.g., to the Fulton Mall from Highway 180). Make parking easier by improving signage designating public lots and their low rates. Offer free parking to downtown residents. Encourage merchants to promote parking validation. Develop a comprehensive plan to increase bike lanes within the city. Encourage bicycle transportation between the Tower District and downtown with bike lanes on Broadway and H Streets. Add loop detectors to detect bicycles at major intersections on new construction, downtown and throughout the city. Work towards a connected bike lane network with bike lanes on every major street on a 1/2 mile grid on both sides of street. Support mass transportation initiatives, such as Measure C, that support elements vital to improving transportation to the urban core. These elements â€” bike paths, walking trails, etc. â€” must be priorities of planning and funding.
QUALITY OF PLACE
Celebrating A Quality Community
n 1999, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) completed a one-week intensive review of the Fresno downtown including the Fulton Mall. The ULI report restated a recurring theme, “Able planners and experts have studied Fresno repeatedly but no comprehensive plan linking, leveraging, and implementing their recommendations and projects has ever been prepared.” By that
time, the Fulton Mall was seen as a “divider,” separating rather than integrating redevelopment efforts on surrounding blocks.
Fresno has to stop studying and planning for the future and act, boldly and with conviction. In Fresno, the future is now, and you are here.
In 1964, the mall was a much-acclaimed grand experiment in urban redevelopment. But almost fifty years later the civic courage that created the mall needs to make the hard decision to recreate the mall… to recreate a quality place. According to author Richard Florida, the factors that most influence knowledge worker’s location decision are based on quality of life and quality of place, factors such as available amenities, a blend of work and leisure, a sense of place, active lifestyle, arts and culture, environment, and diversity. Our region already excels in many of the factors. In the
recent report by Creative Fresno, Livability Priorities for the Fresno Creative Class, Fresno scored high in our access to outdoor recreation and our ethnic and cultural diversity. However, the same report revealed that Fresno is low in providing entertainment venues and providing an arts and creative scene.
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Unfortunately for Fresno, establishing a Quality of Place to encourage the location and relocation of knowledge workers is a zero sum game. Los Angeles with its movie star image and San Francisco with its technology binge are winning the battle for California’s (and even Fresno’s) creative class. Fresno has to stop studying and planning for the future and act, boldly and with conviction. In Fresno, the future is now, and you are here.
© The Fresno Bee, 2005
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Third Spaces Foster and promote those places that are neither home nor work, yet where community is built. “Third Spaces,” as coined by Ray Oldenburg (1989), in The Great Good Place, are distinctive informal gathering places. They are not home (first place) and they are not work (second place). They are community-meeting places. Places where chance meetings occur and casually turn into leisurely lunches discussing California politics. Third spaces encourage sociability, enrich public life and democracy, and are crucial to a thriving community. The Third Space brings about “the kinds of relationships and the diversity of human contact that are the essence of the city,” Oldenburg wrote. Warm cafes, safe parks, rowdy neighborhood bars are all quintessential third spaces. Successful third spaces are places where the person feels welcome and comfortable, and where it is easy to enter into conversation. A person who goes there should be able to find both old and new friends each time she or he goes there. Additionally, the place must be free or inexpensive to enter or make a purchase of food or drink within. They must be highly accessible to neighborhoods so that people find it easy to make the place a regular part of their routine — ideally a comfortable stroll from home. And lastly, they should be a place where a number of people regularly go on a daily basis. Remember the coffee shop featured so prominently on Seinfeld. In every episode Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer slid into their booth to discuss the topic for that week. Right around the corner from Jerry’s apartment, fresh coffee always ready, old and new friends apt to walk in at any moment; this was an ideal “Third Space.” Photo Courtesy of Javawava
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The most successful third spaces are built along the path or busy pathways that many people traverse on a daily basis, such as those between home and work. People attract people, so this checking-out activity in the place draws more attention from passersby, some of whom come in, creating more activity in the place. Third spaces with open, gradual, transparent transitions to the outside (such as an open café with tables and umbrellas spilling out onto the sidewalk) are more successful than such places that have opaque barriers between outside and inside.
What would Fresno be like if… The City and County of Fresno announce partnership with major agricultural producers and associations, to fund research toward making Fresno County agriculture the center of Ecologically Sustainable Agriculture in America
The benefits of successful third spaces go beyond providing a venue for civic dialogue. Jane Jacobs mentions in her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe.” This principle was further touched upon in 1984 when New York City adopted the Broken Windows theory of crime reduction. This successful strategy is to fix problems when they are small. Repair the broken windows within a short time, say, a day or a week, and the tendency is that vandals are much less likely to break more windows or do further damage. Clean up the sidewalk every day, and the tendency is for litter not to accumulate (or for the rate
DID YOU KNOW
Inc. Magazine rated Fresno as the fourth best city in the country in which to do business.
of littering to be much less). Problems do not escalate and thus respectable residents do not flee a neighborhood. The theory makes two major claims: (1) further petty crime and low-level anti-social behavior will be deterred, and (2) major crime will be prevented.
Recommendations Make it easy for food and beverage establishments to create outside areas on public sidewalks. Support public safety’s focus on the safety and cleanliness of areas with the most Third Space potential.
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Step Across the Digital Divide Focus resources on access to and investment in technology. The traditional workday is becoming a thing of the past. Creative professionals work when and where they need to, to get the job done. This might be on a laptop computer in a coffee shop, in a home office, or in a small office in a neighborhood district. Creative professionals are mobile. They change jobs more frequently and as a result, want to be in areas with multiple job and career opportunities. Fresno must develop a technological fabric if it is to develop the variety of opportunities necessary to keep local talent. A technology-based economy allows people to hire creative services to further develop their businesses. A healthy small business economy will support web designers, graphic artists, advertising creatives, writers and others who will boost Fresno businesses into other regions. A commitment to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship will keep business profits within the local economy. Every website designed by a local resident, every meal purchased in a Fresno-owned restaurant, every purse made by Hmong immigrants, every peach produced by a local farmer will keep more money inside our economy to be respent locally. Creative professionals seek to use their talents and skills, to develop them further and to see the results of their abilities. Factory work, warehouses and distribution centers all add jobs to the economy, but not the kinds of jobs that are going to keep and attract knowledge workers and creatives. Knowledge workers are plugged-in and are online, and they must have the infrastructure to support this. Recognizing the Cityâ€™s limited resources, we believe that it is imperative to prioritize economic development efforts to support local entrepreneurship, local business expansion, and local business networks. If resources are spent on business attraction, they should be spent luring businesses that add to the depth of creative occupational opportunities.
Recommendations Move forward with the Metropolitan Area Network project. Address the accessibility of T1 lines for small businesses. Provide free Wireless (Wi-Fi) access to the downtown core. Review city policies to support the technological needs of start-up business. eview fee structures to support local businesses investing in and developing new R technologies. stablish policies that help the Cityâ€™s purchasing power to go toward locally-owned E businesses.
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Listen to the Music Promote and foster loud, lively stroll districts. A large part of fostering creative professionals and knowledge workers is to ensure that there is a thriving entertainment scene. From big name acts such as the Rolling Stones to our own local big names such as 40-Watt Hype, Fresno is a stop for many great local, national, and international tours. Regardless of how many sell-out shows the Save Mart Center hosts, Fresno must work to make sure that the local band wanting to play to a roomful of people has a space. Big shows at big venues with big revenues are only a small part of a thriving entertainment scene. Local entertainment options within neighborhoods and districts — especially in the downtown core are necessary. Photo Courtesy of Arte Américas
Imagine an evening in downtown Fresno when Selland Arena, Grizzlies Stadium, and the Saroyan, Crest, Warnor’s and Hardy theaters are all busy with films, plays and concerts. Between the venues are street
Image Courtesy of The New Valley Times
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performers, artists painting murals, art galleries, and local live music and poetry readings. Would your kids stay in town an extra night during the holidays for this kind of scene? Heck, they might even move back someday! To build a lively nightlife, consideration should be given to downtown entertainment venues that cater to knowledge workers and creative professionals. Issuing of permits for live music and liquor licenses should be based not on history of a particular location, but for the current business focus of new owners. Downtown should be a noisy, lively place — especially in those places that already cater to creative professionals. For this reason, the city should loosen noise ordinances in these areas. Consideration should be given when placing businesses next to each other that may have different goals. For instance
DID YOU KNOW
locating an assisted living center next to a thriving afterhours club may not be in the best interest of the attraction of knowledge workers and should be avoided.
Esquire Magazine identified Fresno as sixth in the ”Top Ten Cities that Rock.” The associated editor of the magazine said, “that there is good music around here and [residents] don’t have to go to LA or San Francisco to enjoy that music.” Photo By Lynn Baker
copyright 2005 Fresno Reel Pride Photo by Tamela Ryatt
Recommendation Allow for live outdoor music in entertainment districts until 2am or after by being flexible with noise ordinances. Fast track licenses and permits for establishments that cater to knowledge workers. Base permits and licenses not on the previous business at a location, but the new business. Encourage all development to have walkability features that deemphasize the role of the automobile.
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From an ArtHop to an Art Revolution Foster and promote art and culture. As Economist Rebecca Ryan points out, young professionals decide where they want to live and then look for jobs within that city. They often decide to live in a place where there are plenty of opportunities to play. Live music, a vibrant art scene, theater, clubs, and a hip and happening downtown are all a part of the world of choices. The opportunity to participate in activities is often more important than being a spectator. The City can pave the way for businesses that are helping to fill this void, especially in our downtown and urban neighborhoods. We need to illuminate the role of culture and art in the community. According to Eduardo Diaz, San Antonio’s first Cultural Arts Director, Fresno is one of only three top 50 cities that does not have a cultural arts director. Art has been around since before language. The value of art is intangible. However, the economic impact is not. A recent study from Americans for the Arts found that the average event-related spending by arts audiences is $22.87 for local attendees and nearly twice as much for non-local attendees ($38.05). These dollars are above and beyond the price of admission and are spent with local business for food, refreshments, lodging, parking, or other similar services. Art comes from an innate desire to express an idea or emotion. Sharing in art fosters community and creates memorable experiences. There is a strong educational value to art as well. It often exposes people to new ideas and encourages them to think differently about the world around them. One of the easiest ways to experience a culture different than your own is to experience that culture’s food or art first. Art teaches tolerance, one of the prime tenets of Richard Florida’s three T’s: talent, technology, and tolerance.
DID YOU KNOW
Courtesy of Arte Américas Courtesy of Fresno Art Museum
The world’s most famous opera star — Andrea Bocelli — opened the Save Mart Center in 2004.
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The value of public art was explored in a recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle: “Public art is important despite — or perhaps because of — its familiarity or controversy.” The article went on to quote artist Leslie William, “Art, even bad art, is better than no art at all.” Ideally public art becomes part of the city and defines what makes the city special. Public art is a reflection of the community and creates a heightened sense of place. Additionally, public art helps to instill local pride and is a driver of revitalization.
What’s good for the arts is good for the economy. The mayors of cities with strong economies tell us that the arts have helped their communities thrive. Federal support for our nation’s cultural organizations is sound public policy.
Representative Louise M. Slaughter 2002 United States House of Representatives and Chair, Congressional Arts Caucus
Proposed Expansion project for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Michael Maltzan Associates. Image courtesy of Fresno Metropolitan Museum.
QUALITy OF P LACE
The city already has ’good bones’ for a burgeoning arts and cultural sector. We have a wide variety of museums, galleries, venues and even a zoo that is looking to turn the corner. But we must support these civic attractions and educate our residents on their role in the fabric of our future success.
The value a city places on its arts and cultural community often parallels its dedication to creativity, expression, and diversity.
Mayor Bart Peterson, Indianapolis
Recommendations Prioritize cultural arts at the city. Examples of this would be to re-fund the Arts Council or hire a Cultural Arts Director for the City. Fundamentally support the notion that the arts contribute significantly to our quality of life and have social, economic, educational, and cultural impacts on a community. Take seriously the role of the arts in supporting economic growth. Continue to “think big,” while adopting and demanding a standard of excellence from our non-profits. Pave the way for major expansion and vision from our non-profits and agencies, such as the Fresno County Library, The Historical Society, Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Valley Public Television, etc. Explore ways to support the arts and help identify new funding sources for improved sustainability. Move forward with and fully enforce the already-adopted public art ordinance. Financially support the redevelopment of three major historic theaters in the downtown core (Warnor’s, Liberty/Hardy/Mexico, Crest).
Long Term Vision and Conclusion
rends develop their own cycles. When you are going up, others feel the momentum and jump on board, continuing the cycle. On the other hand, when things are going downhill, the momentum can carry far into the future. Some cities never seem to recover from their downward spiral. Therefore we believe that it is critical for the
City to be aware of where we are in the momentum cycle and to encourage people and activities that will build positive momentum. We believe that Fresno has many great amenities, activities, and opportunities. We have the potential to accelerate the positive momentum that has been created. We need to be clear about our problems and challenges, and we need to make educated and bold decisions about solving these problems. We need to support innovative and creative solutions to our problems. We need to take on the challenge of transforming our community in order to retain, attract, develop and support knowledge workers.
B eyond Today
Let’s lead the country in improving our air quality. L et’s lead the country in new business start-ups. L et’s lead the country in Clean Technology. L et’s lead the country in Brain Gain. et’s work toward establishing the “Fresno-style,” L a style of housing, clothing, music, food, and education that reflects the best of who we are. L et’s become known for our vibrant downtown and unique neighborhoods. L et’s become a destination for arts, culture, and outdoor recreation. L et’s maximize our diversity to create new knowledge workers. L et’s lead the world in becoming the premiere choice for Quality of Life.
If we can’t afford to be different or authentic, then, people will always consider us to be mediocre. We can’t afford not to become a special place. Many of the recommendations included in this report are easy and inexpensive to act upon. Others do have a cost, but the cost of no action is far greater. It is possible to become a desired destination for knowledge workers. It is possible to become the envy of California and the rest of the nation. It is possible to have the “greener grass” — if we take action now.
C HE C KLIST
Quick Policy Checklist When evaluating a new policy or initiative, decision makers should explore whether or not they help us reach our goal to retain, attract, develop, and support creative professionals. Answering “yes” to as many of these questions as possible should be a priority of all area policy makers.
Does it help to creatively market Fresno-area attributes, internally, externally, or both? Does it help us work regionally? Does it help celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity? Does it further the goals of the 2025 Fresno General Plan? Does the policy promote excellence in design standards? Does it move us closer to being a leader in clean technology development and integration? Does it foster and promote green space, parks, and outdoor recreation? Does it promote a viable and livable downtown? Does it place priority on Fresno’s unique traits and older structures? Does it help promote individual neighborhood districts? Does it improve transportation in the urban core? Does it foster and promote those places that are neither home nor work, yet where community is built? Does it focus resources on access to and investment in technology? Does it promote loud, lively stroll districts downtown? Does it foster and promote art and culture? Imagine the following newspaper headline: “Thousand of Creative Professionals flock to Fresno for ________________ (fill in the blank)!” 52
Acknowledgements Mayor’s Creative Economy Council
Henry T. Perea, Council Member, City of Fresno Suzanne Bertz-Rosa, Graphic & Web Designer, Bertz-Rosa Design Craig Scharton, Senior Director of Economic Development, One by One Leadership Timothy M. Stearns, Director, Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fresno Frank Delgado, Founder, Urban Tribe Six Blog and Music Director, KFSR Marcos Dorado, Artist Jarah Euston, Founder/Editor, Fresno Famous Jocelyn Fuller, Freelance Editor & Copywriter Tate Hill, Business Development Coordinator, Fresno West Coalition for Economic Development Jaime K. Holt, Public Information Administrator, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Shawn Miller, Business Development Manager, City of Clovis Robert V. Saroyan, Vice President of Development, Community Medical Foundation Robert L. Wood, President, Generation Homes City Staff on Project Economic Development Department
Lynn Bowness, Economic Development Manager Kelly Trevino, Economic Development Analyst
Barbara Rische, Executive Secretary City Manager’s Office
Gary Watahira, Management Analyst III
We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their help in producing this document. Office of Mayor Alan Autry Henry T. Perea, Fresno City Council Joyce Aiken. Fresno Arts Council Arte Américas Reza Assemi, Artist/Urban Developer Lynn Baker JP Batmale, RJI Renewable Energy Task Force Tony Boren, Council of Fresno County Governments Paula Castadio, KVPT, Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History Chris Johnson, Johnson Architecture City of Fresno Economic Development Department Cynthia Cooper, Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History Creative Fresno John Dahling, Photographer Dan DeSantis, Fresno Regional Foundation John Downs, City of Fresno Transportation Department Fresno Art Museum Fresno Filmworks Fresno Metropolitan Museum Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) Jason Hall Karana Hattersley-Drayton, City of Fresno Historic Preservation Project Manager Gord Hume, City of London (Ontario, Canada) Gary Janzen, Janzen IdeaCorp Javawava
Dr. Tom Jones, Worx Mark Keppler, Clovis Community Foundation and Tree Fresno Bill Kuebler, Tower District Marketing Association David Lighthall, Relational Culture Institute Jim Michael, RJI, Technology Infrastructure Task Force Marlene Murphey, City of Fresno Redevelopment Agency Bruce Owdom, Tower District Marketing Association Jesse Padilla Steve Potter, Community Medical Foundation Victor Ramayant Reel Pride Allyson Robison, Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno Jon Ruiz, City of Fresno and RJI Physical Infrastructure Task Force MaryAnne Seay, City of Fresno Parks & Recreation Department Ashley Swearengin, Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno The Taylor Group Dan Whitehurst, former Mayor and Fresno City Council Member Russ Widmar, Fresno Yosemite International Airport Nick Yovino, City of Fresno Planning and Development Participants of the CEC Summit
The Mayor’s Creative Economy Council wishes to extend a special thank you to Mayor Alan Autry, Council Member Henry T. Perea, and Creative Fresno for their leadership in embracing the Creative Cities Movement.
A . Whitehurst App etizers One subject matter expert, Former Mayor Dan Whitehurst, provided a list of innovative and fun ideas that are just too good to keep to ourselves. Our hope is that by sharing them, that some civic entrepreneur out there will take them and run. B . R ec ommendations from the Fresno Coalition for Art, Sc ience and H istory Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History provided some thoughtprovoking recommendations. Many are included in the final report. Appendix B includes them all. C . C EC S ummit R e commendations
List of recommendations gathered at the CEC Summit on October 11, 2005.
D . R ec ommendation M atrix List of overall recommendations gathered from various online and offline sources including conversations with various subject matter experts, conversations with people out in the public, and posts on Fresno Famous, MindHub, Urban Tribe Six, and the FLYP blog.
App endix A
Whitehurst Appetizers Ideas to stimulate discussion.
Billion Dollar Makeover Through an assessment district or other mechanism, raise enough money to do parks, squares, fountains, median landscaping, public art, traffic calming and other techniques for making Fresno more attractive.
Downtown Campus (Ratkovich Plan) Build on the UCSF and Community Medical Center presence downtown by attracting other higher education programs: UC Merced, Fresno State, Fresno City College, San Joaquin College of Law, Alliant University, etc. Start working now on a full UC medical school. Convert buildings to student and faculty housing. Develop shared facilities among the institutions (classrooms, library, fitness center, etc.). There are good models for downtown campuses as magnets for revitalization: Savannah College of Art and Design, http://www.scad.edu/about/index.cfm and Academy of Art University in San Francisco, http://www.academyart.edu/. There are also models for shared resources among neighboring schools: The Claremont Colleges: Harvard/ MIT/Tufts/Boston U, etc.
Branson West About 15 years ago a promoter looked at buying or leasing the Crest, Wilson, Warnorâ€™s, Hardyâ€™s, Memorial Auditorium, Casablanca, Rainbow Ballroom. The idea was to book musical acts from Los Angeles and to have a constant offering of live music. Branson became a major destination by offering a cluster of music venues at affordable prices. Fresno would have the advantage of existing buildings that could be acquired and adapted at a fairly low cost, plus the proximity to entertainers and audiences. http://www.bransontourismcenter.com/
Sell/Lease Fulton Mall Turn the public space (mall, parking structures and city-owned properties) over to a private developer/mixed-use center operator. Acquire other properties in the downtown area, including the air space over existing properties. Let a strong forprofit company run downtown as a competitive mixed-use center.
App endix A
City Walk Make Fulton Mall like City Walk at Universal City. (http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/)
Ag Center For years, there has been discussion of an agricultural trade center in downtown Fresno. Maybe call it the Food and Fiber Center if “ag” is a turnoff.
Branding and Bright Lights What if the owners of the tall buildings in downtown sold the naming rights to their buildings to big ag-related companies: SunMaid, Dole, Del Monte, Caterpillar, John Deere, etc. with a requirement that each construct a Las Vegas type neon sign on the top of the building and do some kind of visitor center on the ground floor. The Fresno skyline would look like the farming capital of California and there would be reasons for travelers to exit 99 for a visit to downtown Fresno.
Motel Drive Concept We’ve lost most of the Giant Oranges and Bob’s Big Boys. California had a history of whimsical roadside eateries, motels and shops that have gone away. What if the great ones were re-created on a stretch of Motel Drive, so people could slide off the freeway and grab a quick bite, or spend the night at a “retro motel” and enjoy an evening in Fresno. See http://www.roadsideamerica.com/salad/ and a great book, California Crazy and Beyond, (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail//0811830187/103-6265824-8467818?v=glance).
Competition for Artists and Businesses Sponsor a national competition for artists and start-up businesses, in which the winners would receive a cash prize plus two years of free housing and/or officestudio space in Fresno. Or sponsor scholarships for high-potential people to attend Fresno State’s business school or one of the other graduate schools.
App endix A
Resort Encourage the development of a Fresno area resort-conference center that could serve as a connection between Fresno and the Sierra (especially Yosemite), perhaps along the San Joaquin River. Think of places like Meadowood Napa Valley (http:// www.meadowood.com/) or the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs (http://www. broadmoor.com).
Bold, Beautiful Belmont Take one commercial street in town (my nominee: Belmont) and remove all sign controls, setback and parking requirements. Encourage bold colors, wild public art, innovative architecture, garish signs and outdoor displays.
App endix B
Recommendations from the Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History Set the Agenda: Who are we? What are we doing? How are we going to get there? Who can help us?
Who are we? Fresno Coalition for Art, Science and History (FCASH) A member driven non-profit organization representing art, science and history organizations Organizations that consistently provide exceptional educational and entertaining programs Programs often supported by meaningful outreach designed to connect communities • All of which operate in a market that’s younger, more impoverished, less educated • A public that wants what it wants, when it wants it • Our organizations are lean, doing more with less, and faced with diversifying revenue sources as membership contributions wane
What are we doing? Dedicated to improving the economic vitality and quality of life through elevating the arts • Why? We feel we are one of the most under leveraged sectors of our community. • According to the Americans for the Arts, every $1 spent by a non-profit organization contributes $3 to the economy (clothing, babysitting, hair care, gas, dining, etc.) • Every $1 spent that draws someone from outside the area results in $6 spent in the community (hotels, more dining, shopping, etc.)
App endix B
FCASH has four key areas of focus in support of the Fresno Cultural Plan: 1. Promote Economic Development – To begin, we will prove our local impact on the economy and job creation by conducting an economic survey to collect the data to support our case. 2. Promote the Arts - Then, we’ll need to tell our story. FCASH will work with other arts organizations to create a unified, consistent message for promoting the cultural arts sector. A marketing plan and some initial brainstorming are in the works. The ultimate goal is to build awareness and audiences for cultural arts organizations. 3. Advocate for the Arts - And, we’ll work with the Fresno Arts Council to advocate for the arts when issues arise. Working together, we’ll become a powerful voice with connections to many of the influentials in our communities. 4. S trengthen the Cultural Sector – All of this will help strengthen our members and in turn, strengthen cultural arts expressions in our community. Additionally, FCASH holds weekly meetings to cultivate collaborations and provide insight into our area, the services available and professional development training.
H ow are we going to get there? • Through strategic alliances, e.g. Fresno Arts Council, Creative Fresno, City of Fresno, Fresno County, collaborations among our members • We have to have a sustainable model to fuel the organization and effort • Being organized, strategic and bold
Who can help us? • City of Fresno and here’s how: City should fundamentally support the notion that Fresno is a great place to live and that the arts contributes significantly to our quality of life City should fully understand the social, economic, educational, and cultural impact the arts makes on a community City should actively listen and take seriously the role of the arts in supporting economic growth once the story is proven and shared City should continue to “think big,” while adopting and demanding a standard of excellence from its non-profits
App endix B
City should pave the way for major expansion and vision from our non-profits, such as the Fresno County Library, The Historical Society, Fresno Metropolitan Museum, Valley Public Television, etc. City should be seen as boldly supporting the cultural arts sector, thereby instilling pride and modeling behavior that is healthy for our area City should explore ways to support the arts and help identify new funding sources for improved sustainability City should help convene conversations about the arts and encourage younger generations to get involved in the discussions (reshape the arts to meet the changing demographic) City should truly embrace and accept the entire “creative class” City should fund a social marketing study to change behaviors in our community, e.g. increased volunteerism, philanthropy, attendance, etc. City should invest in attracting tourism – there is a lot do! City should boast and promote ArtHop to help draw tourism Mayor should play a stronger role in promoting the arts and using his influence to highlight the arts in Fresno City should demand the P in PEG Access, along with a media center City should engage the community about claiming eminent domain on the South side of Mono and Van Ness to concentrate more galleries in one area. City should move quickly to bring restaurants to the Downtown area City should ensure the safety of visitors in the Downtown area and promote that it is safe. City should make parking more accessible and free at times of major cultural arts events City should offer free wi-fi everywhere
App endix C
CEC Summit Recommendations Ideas submitted from open public forum on October 11, 2005. 2,000 mid to upper income level condominiums 300 art hop participants with 3/4 north of Shaw A network of lakes and canals ADA compliance Agriculture museum All new development being based on traditional neighborhoods Arts center (like the Kennedy Center) Better driving access downtown Better education about existing art Better mental health care Better nutrition programs in public schools Better schools Bigger, better museum Bio-diesel / clean energy sources Bulldog football being a #1 team Clean up air for better view of the mountains Computer industry Create a recognizable Fresno landmark Create industry Distinct neighborhoods Embracing collaboration Ethanol refinery Expanding agriculture into high technology jobs Expansion of airport Food festival to celebrate valley agriculture Formal alliance of CSUF and medical research Fresno as head city in Central Valley region Fresno as the place to be Fresno not having one of the top ten worst air qualities Friendlier to walking Fry’s electronics Green spaces and trees downtown High quality affordable housing High speed monorail High speed rail to Los Angeles and San Francisco Highway 99 beautification Increase in public / outdoor art Industry specific educational and training facilities Integration of communities Interfaith unity center International culinary school International opera institute Investment and Angel capital Light rail Live/work spaces for musicians and artists Local entertainment magazine Lowering energy usage / more ‘green’ building Major corporate offices moving to Fresno
Moratorium on new roads and freeways More diverse housing options More gardens More public funding of the arts More restaurants downtown More tourism More transportation choices Multi-use building NASCAR track National press coverage of Fresno Neighborhood parks / water parks Network of bicycle lanes and trails New downtown museum and historic society New industry jobs New library Ongoing CEC summits Outdoor tourism PBS station that is fully supported by the community and city that it serves Preservation of ethnic neighborhoods Prestigious social clubs Protection of our history Public records available online Recruit more businesses Renewable energy Research and development park Restore Warner theater Reversal of outsourcing Revitalized core — Downtown, Chinatown, Tower District Safety Sequoia film festival Shuttle from Fresno to UCM Sidewalks Stop the city limits from growing - create a ‘green belt’ Superior court house Synchronized street lights Tour of religious art in Fresno Tourism Transportation options other than cars Vibrant downtown nightlife Vibrant Gay community Well educated population and workforce Wireless communication everywhere in the Valley Wireless network Writers conference Younger, more, diverse non-profit board members
App endix D
Gathered Recommendations List of overall recommendations gathered from various online sources and off-line sources including conversations with various subject matter experts, conversations with people out in the public, and posts on Fresno Famous, MindHub, Urban Tribe Six, and the FLYP blog. Category
Consider Cultural Arts Plan when making decisions
Endorse public arts ordinance
Establish arts incubator
Investigate using tax or bond for funding cultural arts
Market relative cultural arts activities to CSUF students
City of Fresno to establish open communication including: 1) discuss how to get parks & trails built in Fresno; 2) notify Tree Fresno when city of Fresno is doing a project; and 3) communicate with Tree Fresno if there is a trail issue and make sure that they are involved in decision making.
Contribute $100k to the “300k Fund” that would fund landscaping of flood basins on an on-going basis
Create Walk-able Neighborhoods
Enforce ordinance for median greening
Enforce trail ordinance
Identify high-level champion within City to lead efforts (City Manager or Asst. City Manager)
Improved downtown streetscape (lights, trees, fountains)
Landscape watershed basins, canal banks, and railroad right-aways
More public spaces
Put up arch-way signs like in downtown Fresno to announce and display different areas of Fresno
Address the sprawling layout of the city that doesn’t lend itself to human interaction.
Establish clear priorities for RDA that aids projects that meet those priorities
Expedite permit process
Hire additional staff or contract out services for plan checking
More upscale lifestyle apartment/condominiums
Standardize govermental approval processes, so it is a similar process to get an industrial/commercial project as a residential.
Streamline permitting process
Use design and architecture that respects and honors the San Joauin River Parkway
Ad campaign focusing on the cost and quality of fresh food in Central California vs. other parts of the country
Better support from Fresno Bee
App endix D
Create one central location and put larger and more substantial advertising to promote it
Develop a coordinated image campaign
Need to have a way for new professionals to connect
Work with media to create a regular arts & culture section that focuses on local entertainment, classes, lecture, etc.
Have festivals on the Fulton Mall that feature Food Network celebrity chefs using locally grown produce.
A pub crawl like Santa Barbara’s State Street or San Diego’s Gas Lamp Districts.
Celebrate each harvest as it comes into season.
Foster live music scene
More bistros and cafe’s.
Possible festivals may include: Battle of the Bands, Sunday in the Park (with live entertainment), Downtown Weekends (with live performances, vendors, and outdoor dining), “First Night” Celebrations
Central Valley Business Incubator
Free Rent to entrepreneurs
Fund business ventures
Lyles Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Support $250k business plan competition
Be bold in becoming a leading city for innovative energy usage
Flex building codes to enable better clean energy, such as orienting houses and buildings to the south
Offer a fast-track permitting process
Tap into PG&E fund to offer financial incentives
Attract more high-tech industry
Fresno having career advancement opportunities (aqua corporate headquarters).
Higher paying jobs
Focus on nurturing local businesses, that will reinvest in the local economy
Incentive to film in Fresno (see Film Fresno)
Development should work around existing historic buildings
Expose historic buildings
App endix D
“Welcome to Fresno” function for college students
Community that supports and encourages innovation, creativity, technology, new media, and progressive attitude and lifestyle.
Embrace the GLBT population
Encourage civic engagement
Focus on bridging “silos”
Focus on changing mindset
Make it easy for emerging artists to live and work here while connecting to national and international markets.
Marquee on Save Mart Center
Need to see artifacts that there is something to be proud of in Fresno.
Use a certain percentage of FAX ad spaces to communicate new message
Use alternative media sources (I.e. sponsorships, skywriting, Internet, etc.) to reach Y-gen (18-24 year olds)
Social Change/ Communication
Create a community portal to aid in communicating the benefits and attractions of our region
Social Change/ Entertainment
Celebrate ethnic diversity (each weekend a different group)
Access in homes
Bridge digital divide with affordable solution and education
Businesses restricted with costs of T-1, line
Capacity building in schools
Expansion of fiber-to-the-home networks
Free wireless Internet zones
Seek subsidies to underwrite technology
Better mass transit
Bridge over H St. if necessary
Change bus fees so that heading towards downtown is free, and heading away from town requires a fee.
Fix intersection at Divsadero and H St. (Needs focus for other reasons: 6-way section)
Increase bike paths
More flights at FAT
People mover around downtown
Research transportation and make educated policy decisions
Skyway/tram/other transportation for Fulton Mall
Turn H into a main thoroughfare to help people maneuver downtown
App endix D
Transportation/ Urban Revitalization
Friday/Saturday night trolley from Tower to Downtown nightspots every 20 minutes
Transportation/ Urban Revitalization
Run buses direct from Fresno State to downtown
Build Unirail around the circumference of Fresno with spokees to central staging areas.
A kid-friendly downtown
Appoint vice-mayor or omnibudsman whose sole focus is on downtown (knock town barriers for urban revitalization)
“Business Makeovers” by volunteer teams to work with businesses on interior/ exterior design.
Concern over paid parking
Easement from tower mall to Fulton mall
Encourage a “Life after 5” in downtown
Encourage increased density housing
Free parking downtown
Make every decision looking through the lens, “Is it good for downtown or not?”
More downtown housing
More urban feeling
Multiuse zoning in downtown Fulton Mall
Places to go after ballgame
Priority for development in the core of the city (faster permitting means faster revitalization can happen)
Restain concrete on the Fulton Mall
Revisit and update building code for core city area that encourage street life, reflect modern urban living, and encourage urban density (sidewalk seating, balconies over sidewalks, etc.)
Re-zone the Jefferson Lowell area.
Signage for parking and Fulton Mall
Use property taxes for funding districts
As a follow up to the "Livability Priorities for the Fresno Creative Class," Mayor Autry and Councilmen Henry Perea develop the Mayor's Crea...
Published on Feb 12, 2009
As a follow up to the "Livability Priorities for the Fresno Creative Class," Mayor Autry and Councilmen Henry Perea develop the Mayor's Crea...