Peoria, Illinois: Hart of Peoria Vision Masterplan- Revitalization Strategy

The Heart of Peoria Vision Plan, created in 2002 by internationally known Duany Plater Zyberk began a process of revitalization for Peoria Illinois. To implement the vision Urban Advisors and Code Studio worked on a team led by Ferrell Madden Associates to create detailed designs of selected study areas of the city with matching form-based code and implementation strategies. Like many American cities, the downtown had been losing population and was physically divided by wide highways. Peoria is one of the few cities where manufacturing employment is on the rise. But the jobs at Caterpillar are mostly in engineering- and a different lifestyle segment than traditional skilled laborers. By examining trends and projections in employment and demographic segments, we discovered a pent-up demand and potential market for urban residential products that were largely unavailable. Providing the neighborhood amenities and products preferred by the unserved market required design and road improvements and code amendments. We were able to develop a revitalization strategy that addressed the underlying causes of past decline and built on existing opportunities in conjunction with a new legal framework. This project received the 2010 Dreihaus Award from the Form Based Codes Institute.