Alliance & City Team Up To Improve Slack Plaza After EPA Report Release
CHARLESTON, W.VA (August 8, 2011) – The Charleston Area Alliance and the City of Charleston will join forces after the release of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report outlining strategies for redesigning and improving Slack Plaza.
Released Aug. 4, the report titled, “Greening Slack Plaza,” details various strategies to revamp the area. Alliance and city officials say they are eager to combine efforts and find resources to redevelop the downtown thoroughfare.
“The Slack Plaza area is the main transportation hub for the region and serves as a connector for the mall and the central business district,” said Susie Salisbury, vice president of community development for the Charleston Area Alliance. “This report will be used as a template for improving the plaza.”
In September 2010, Charleston was selected as one of five cities to participate in Greening America’s Capitals, a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities between the EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The project helps state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative, green building and infrastructure strategies.
“Slack Plaza, as a public space, presents us with unique challenges that the original design either failed to contemplate or adequately address in a manner that could withstand the test of time,” said Charleston City Manager David Molgaard.
“This report proffers a vision and strategies to advance multiple social, economic and environmental considerations relevant to our present circumstances and points the way forward to revitalizing this pivotal civic space in a viable and sustainable manner.”
In the report, three key strategies are outlined to improve Slack Plaza. They include: creating a lively and active space that appeals to a broad range of users and reflects Charleston’s character; making the space more comfortable and easier to use by defining paths, individual zones of activity, and increasing areas of shade; and decreasing stormwater runoff that enters the local combined storm/sanitary sewer system.
The report is available at www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm.
About the Charleston Area Alliance
With more than 600 members representing 40,000 employees, the Charleston Area Alliance is a multi-faceted economic, business and community development organization, as well the largest regional Chamber of Commerce in West Virginia. The Alliance works to attract new jobs and investments, helps businesses accelerate profitability, launches visionary community and cultural enhancements and develops the talent and resources that promote success and opportunity for all. Through these innovative programs, services and policy leadership, the Alliance and its members are driving the destiny of our region.