MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) urban planning firm continues to hold meetings in downtown Mobile gathering input from business owners and the public on a new vision for the city.
The Downtown Mobile Alliance raised $150,000 to bring Andres Duany and his team of urban development experts to Mobile.
Team member Dr. Randy Atlas , wrote a book on and teaches Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, this is his first visit to Mobile.
"My experience as a tourist -- with a clean slate, is that it was easy, the hotel is centrally located and there's lots of bars and restaurants within my walking distance, I felt safe walking around last night," Atlas said.
The DPZ's job is to help the Alliance reshape and rewrite the development code for downtown Mobile, which will go before the city council for consideration.
One local business owner says he's happy the team is in Mobile and wants to see the city progress in a unified direction.
"It needs to grow, but I've been here since -- a long time, I've been here since '87 and it's progressed along but where it is now I thought we'd be in '93, '94," said Jim Walker, owner of the OK Bicycle Club, Liquid Sushi Lounge and Union Steak House.
Atlas said businesses and city government currently have conflicts that can be changed through the new vision that the team will come up with. The team will present their new vision for Downtown Mobile on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Temple Downtown.
"So, the challenge is how do we make it user friendly, how do we make it affordable and how do we make the perception that it's safe, secure and easy to use," said Atlas.
"It takes forever to do anything and it's such a hard city to develop things in, you would think there would be people just foaming at the mouth to help you but there's not," said Walker.
In the end, the Alliance wants to help eliminate red tape delays for investors and unnecessary busy work for public administrators.
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