This article was featured in the debut of an community magazine called Ogden Connection.
Ogden is a community of makers. What does it mean, though, to make? Merriam Webster has a number of definitions: “to bring into being by forming, shaping, or altering material; to gain by working, trading, or dealing; to succeed in providing or obtaining; to cause to happen to or be experienced by someone; to favor the growth or occurrence of.” So, when we say “Ogden is a community of makers,” it means so much more. We are formers and shapers, workers and traders, artists and artisans; we are dealmakers, we create experiences, and we grow as a community.
With growth, comes the need to plan – to grow smart, and enhance the city’s assets in a way benefitting the community. As Ogden grows, we want to ensure that our downtown is a place where new and existing businesses have the opportunity to thrive and to create new jobs and where community members choose to live and play. To guide our vision, Ogden City is launching a new effort to plan the future of downtown, appropriately dubbed, “MAKE Ogden.”
An effort of this magnitude necessitates input from some of the other organizations in Ogden sharing the same goal of realizing our city’s future, including the Ogden-Weber Chamber, Visit Ogden, and the Ogden Downtown Alliance.
Kim Bowsher, the director of the Ogden Downtown Alliance, noted the importance of, and her appreciation for, the collaborative approach to MAKE Ogden.
“I’ve been through a variety of community development and visioning series, both in this town and many other over the years, and I’ve been impressed by the holistic approach presented by Design Workshop and the commitment to involvement from the local community,” she said. “I’m eager to see the plans take shape, especially for the next iteration of Ogden as we know it – one we are all a part of designing, creating, and influencing.”
To that end, MAKE Ogden seeks to answer the questions surrounding the future of our city:
- How do we prepare for an increase in people living and working in downtown Ogden and continue to protect Ogden’s long-term financial stability?
- How can we harness Ogden’s incredible fortune to be located at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, at the confluence of the Ogden and Weber Rivers, with advantageous access to I-84 and I-15?
- How do we become a nexus for growth – business and employment, residential, recreational, and cultural – and increase both the value of our land and the quality of life for our community, while maintaining Ogden’s special heritage and culture?
In our ongoing effort to answer these questions, we have established six tenets, inherently tied to and influenced by the others:
-Real Estate and Land Use -Historic and Cultural Assets -Transportation and Mobility
-Parks and Open Space -Social Equity and Amenities -Experiential Market, Media, and Branding
A new vision for downtown based on these tenets will support the following goals:
- Promote the infill and revitalization of the downtown core
- Attract new diverse job opportunities
- Improve access to social services and amenities
- Enhance connections to downtown destinations through various transportation modes
- Provide variety and equity in housing
In short, Downtown Ogden will experience a 21st century renaissance that recalls a time when the City’s motto was, “You can’t get anywhere without coming to Ogden.”
MAKE Ogden is in service of the community of Ogden, and we’d like your input on what you’d like to see our city become. Bookmark the MAKE Ogden page, explore initial concepts for the downtown master plan, and sign up to be notified of opportunities to engage in the realization of Ogden’s future.