Since the commissioning of a Center City Master Plan [PDF] for Greensboro by Action Greensboro from the Cooper Carry Center for Connective Architecture in 2001, The Cemala Foundation has enthusiastically supported the design and construction of the Greensboro Downtown Greenway, a cornerstone of the Master Plan. This $30 million initiative is a public/private partnership between the City of Greensboro and Action Greensboro.
The Downtown Greenway will be a four-mile, paved, multiuse path around Downtown Greensboro for cyclists, pedestrians, and others with non-motorized means of transportation. It will showcase public art and landscaping features. Construction will be conducted in multiple phases dependent on available funding, land availability, design execution, and shovel ready status.
In 2003, following the inclusion of the Downtown Greenway in the Center City Master Plan, a position paper prepared for the Moses Cone Wesley Long Community Health Foundation (now the Cone Health Foundation) determined that the overall health and well-being of Greensboro's population was in decline. Opportunities for increased physical activity offered by greenways were an important means of reversing this trend. With financial support from the Health Foundation, in 2006, the City of Greensboro approved a Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenway/Trails Master Plan, which included the Downtown Greenway.This plan proposed 400 miles of greenways covering all areas of the city, adding to the some 80 miles of existing trails. The Downtown Greenway was seen as the hub of this entire trail.
In 2006, the Bicentennial Commission selected the Downtown Greenway as the signature project to commemorate the city's 200th birthday. The August 2010 Greensboro Downtown Economic Development Strategy identified the Greenway as the first of six priority projects. These selections solidified the Downtown Greenway's importance to the long-term growth and development of Greensboro.
Cemala's vision for Guilford County speaks to Center City Greensboro as the robust hub of the community. Consequently, Cemala has provided over $1.65 million in funding and ongoing support to move forward this project, not only because of the likelihood of it enhancing revitalization efforts, but also, because the Downtown Greenway will:
The Downtown Greenway project is an amazing partnership between the City of Greensboro and Action Greensboro (of which Cemala is a member). Individuals, businesses, foundations, civic organizations, social groups, the City Council, and City staff have the opportunity to work together to help create the Downtown Greenway. This public/private partnership is in place to design, construct, and fund the $30 million Downtown Greenway. The private sector has raised over $10.2 million through foundations, corporations, and individuals, and the public sector has raised over $14.8 million through local, state, and federal funds. This includes $7 million in bond funds voted on by the citizens of Greensboro in 2008 and over $7 million in federal transportation funds. We anticipate another bond referendum in 2016 to complete the public sector funding needs for the Downtown Greenway.
Click here for more information about the Greensboro Downtown Greenway
*Action Greensboro is a 501 (c) 3 organization and an operating group of the Greensboro Partnership. It is led by local foundations. Action Greensboro is dedicated to creating an economically vibrant community where individuals can find the foundations to build their lives, to fostering an environment that attracts business and industry and which stimulates business formation and development, and to developing a dynamic urban center. Its primary focus areas are K-12 public school education, center city revitalization, higher education, young professionals, and community engagement.