- Associated Press - Sunday, November 8, 2015

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A city-wide planning map is aiming to make Mobile more walkable.

The plan called “Map for Mobile” will go before the city council Tuesday for consideration, Al.com reported (http://bit.ly/1WJTfNe ). The plan outlines methods and approaches the city will follow starting in 2016 to implement zoning, land use, code and ordinance changes and capital improvement priorities.

The map would be the first for South Alabama’s largest city in years.

It was approved by the city’s planning commission Thursday following a round of mostly positive comments from people involved in the nine-month creation process.

“I want to thank the Mobile Planning Commission for adopting Map for Mobile as a framework that can be used to guide decisions in the years to come,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement.

The plan was a top priority for Stimpson, who was elected mayor a little more than two years ago.

“Our intent is, little by little, to use input from the citizens to drive decisions we make in the future,” said Dianne Irby, the city’s executive director of Planning & Development. “We want to make sure it’s something that can be implemented and reviewed on a regular basis.”

The city spent $150,000 on the process headed by Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc., a privately-held engineering and architecture firm in Mobile.

The city is encouraging the public to review the draft plan online at www.mapformobile.org.

Nearly 2,000 citizens participate in the actual planning process during workshops held throughout the city.

The plan includes many elements scattered throughout the city with the main themes focusing on physical design of the city, cleaner and greener neighborhoods, transportation flow improvements, historic preservation and more walkability.

“Without a plan that focuses on walkability, we are leaving the future of our city to chance not only on aesthetics but economic viability,” said Ashley Dukes with the Midtown Mobile Movement group.

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