Imagine Lexington 2045: Improving a desirable community

The Imagine Lexington 2045 comprehensive plan has been approved. We’re breaking down the 349-page plan section by section, continuing with Theme D: Improving a desirable community.

Fallen leaves on the street in front of the Big Blue Building, aka the Fifth-Third building.

Improving a desirable community means making Lexington more connected, creating a sense of place, and supporting all Lexingtonians. | Photo by @femibranded

Last year, we began a series breaking down the city’s newly adopted comprehensive plan, Imagine Lexington 2045.

The 349-page plan focuses on long-term planning + urban growth to address the needs of all Lexingtonians. Before reading on, catch up on the first three iterations:

Now, we’re onto the next theme: Improving a desirable community. Particularly, how the city can enhance our quality of life, connectivity, and attract new residents.

A person rides a bike across a street in downtown Lexington.

The plan outlines policies that would help create more equitable access to our streets for all commuters. | Photo by @femibranded

🛣️ Connectivity

The first pillar in making Lexington more desirable is ensuring our street systems connect Lexingtonians to all corners of the city. This means upgrading the current transportation infrastructure through:

  • Designing complete, multi-modal streets + policies to support all types of commuters
  • Creating safer walkways and bike paths
  • Rethinking parking policies to improve pricing + management
  • Implementing alternative routes to reduce traffic

🐎 Placemaking

Having pride in our city means creating quality spaces that are accessible, walkable, and actually desirable. The plan outlines these strategies to do so:

  • Creative placemaking — Short-term, lower-cost plans that improve public spaces
  • Tactical placemaking — A diverse group of community members come together to spark dialogue about space usage
  • Strategic placemaking — Long-term (5-15 years) specialized projects (think: Town Branch Commons)
Two people hold hands while ice skating in downtown Lexington.

Beyond the obvious, the city aims to support Lexington in less visible ways. | Photo by @femibranded

🤝 Support

What’s a community without support? But the plan outlines that this needs to go beyond the obvious — it means making improvements to the less visible aspects like education, healthcare, public safety, and social services. The plan specifically highlights these policies to help achieve this:

  • Ensuring elementary + middle schools are located in residential areas and high schools primarily along collector streets
  • Including more biophilic design to support students’ mental health
  • Expanding wireless connection throughout the city.
  • Launching initiatives to provide more equitable healthcare access
  • Promoting social services that support mental health and address those experiencing homelessness