Downtown Natchez Master Plan
Established in 1716, Natchez has an international reputation for its antebellum architecture, but the downtown has floundered. As a result, The Walker Collaborative (TWC) was hired to lead a consultant team to craft a master plan. The client was the non-profit Friends of the Riverfront (FOR) Natchez, which raised over $100,000 in private funding to pay for the plan.
While the plan addressed the entire downtown, a focus was paid to the river bluff area on the west end and the MLK Triangle (hub of African American history) on the east end.
Among the plan’s ideas were: a stage pavilion on the bluff, infill development along Broadway, a new green space flanked by a farmers market pavilion, conversion of one-way streets to two-way, a parking structure, convention center expansion, enhancement of the MLK Triangle area, an optimal tenant mix, and establishment of a Main Street organization.
“A New Direction for Natchez”
PLANNING, American Planning Association • December 2018
A struggling Southern city with a racially divided past takes a big step to create prosperity for all. On May 22, 2018, something extraordinary occurred in Natchez, Mississippi. After decades without an update to the downtown master plan, city leaders approved a brand-new one. It was the first plan in the city’s 300 year history that vigorously engaged the public, particularly the city’s African-American population community members, who account for 60 percent of the population of 15,000.