Bethlehem adopts a new comprehensive urban plan
The Bethlehem City Council has adopted a new comprehensive plan.
Called “Bethlehem Forward,” the plan approved Wednesday sets out a future for the Albany County community in 2035. Democratic City Supervisor David VanLuven:
“This plan is the culmination of four years of collaborative work between community members, business leaders and city staff,” VanLuven said. “The process included 10 community forums, 28 advisory committee meetings, three CEO forums and more during the worst pandemic in a century. The result is a visionary plan that is bold and ambitious while being pragmatic and results-oriented.
VanLuven says the plan targets six principles: interwoven equity, livable built environment, harmony with nature, resilient economy, healthy community, and responsible governance and regionalism. He says these principles, working together, provide recommendations for addressing climate change and resilience, aging in place, historic preservation, housing and transportation needs, support for agriculture and economic development. and strategies for a healthy community.
“Its principles, goals and recommendations flow from core community values and a vision that recognizes the many challenges we face today and the growing challenges we will face in the many years to come,” VanLuven said. . “I have often said that in Bethlehem, we get things done. This plan gives us a dynamic roadmap to continue working successfully to support our city together in the future.”
VanLuven notes that the plan was prepared with public engagement amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced new ways to access citizen input.
Council member Maureen Cunningham says the plan includes revising zoning regulations, improving transport and protecting the environment.
“We truly believe this is a forward-thinking, forward-looking document and vision that includes our 35,000 diverse city residents,” Cunningham said. “It’s not an easy task to achieve this vision of 35,000 residents, but I believe we have achieved this through four years of collective hard work. And I believe this comprehensive plan is rooted in the strong sense of community that we have and the sense of community we love, while giving us a plan to ensure a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable community for years to come.”
VanLuven says the plan was designed to refresh and provide a bold new vision and update priorities and strategies in light of changing conditions, new challenges and experience gained in implementing the 2005 plan. .
“It’s a good example of working together. You know, people in the city working together,” VanLuven said. “As you know, it has provided us with a guide to move Bethlehem forward in a way that preserves the character of our city, while leaving our community a better and stronger place for our children and their children.”
You can consult the Global Plan 2022 HERE.