Altoona Comprehensive Plan
Blair County, Pennsylvania
GIS Mapping and Analysis
Active Design Evaluation
Project Team Management
To prepare the City’s planning policy document guiding growth, redevelopment and conservation over the coming decades.
City of Altoona
The City of Altoona retained EPD as the lead planner to update its Comprehensive Plan. Altoona, facing a number of hurdles including a declining population (down 20% over the last 40 years) and tax base, significant vacant and underutilized properties and fiscal problems, was completing its Act 47 process simultaneously to the comprehensive planning process. The Comprehensive Plan’s actions served as the foundation for numerous Act 47 Plan recommendations.
Five neighborhood workshops, community-wide on-line surveys and 60+ member focus groups were conducted to frame out how the Plan can serve as the policy guide to manage redevelopment and administration of the City’s 23 neighborhoods, 40,000 residents and hundreds of businesses. The Penn State-Altoona population and campus services are emerging as more influential components of the City’s land use mix, civic amenities and service needs.
Altoona’s park and recreational system is largely owned and managed by a larger regional commission but as part of this planning process, the City needed to understand and plan for recreation programming, maintenance and facility needs to satisfy the expectations of residents within tight City fiscal constraints. Comprehensive Plan actions were part of the City’s early implementation efforts, even prior to the document’s adoption.