Asheville, North Carolina
The city of Asheville is well-known for tourism and its eclectic arts community, and for years, had been a place where artists, working class families, and the tourism workforce could thrive because of the city’s relative affordability and unique quality of life. However, as an increasingly desirable place to live, the city and region face considerable challenges related to housing affordability, economic diversification, and land use. Given these challenges, the city of Asheville recognized the need to develop a new comprehensive plan (last updated in 2005) to address many of these issues and position itself for the next 10 to 15 years.
Development Strategies was hired by the city of Asheville as part of a multi-disciplinary consulting team lead by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to analyze market conditions and develop strategies that addressed the city’s housing, economic development, and land use challenges. Through this process, Development Strategies created a stand-alone market strategy document with nearly 30 strategic objectives, each with a series of goals to support the final development of the comprehensive plan. The strategic framework provided an overlapping series of themes showing the interplay and interdependencies of community, economic, and physical development.