Reinvestment in the Warehouse District Through Community Placemaking and Streetscape
Pocatello, Idaho | Completed 2018
The City of Pocatello is lucky enough to have two key economic drivers—Old Town(Pocatello’s downtown area) and Idaho State University(ISU).While these two assets are central to the fabric of the community, the future of these places is anything but certain.
Located between Old Town and ISU, Pocatello’s rail yard and Warehouse District posed a nearly half-mile wide barrier between the two assets—an area many residents and businesses feltwas falling short of its potential. While industrial uses had slowly left the area, new businesses were slow to move in—leaving a swath of empty buildings and underutilized industrial lots. The area was also lacking sidewalks and basic pedestrian amenities.
Over Spring and Summer 2018, the City of Pocatello and ISU partnered with Community Builders for the Terry First project to create a community-driven streetscape plan that would strengthen the connection between Old Town and ISU, while supporting the redevelopment of the Warehouse District.
Terry First placed an emphasis on community engagement and volunteer-driven progress. Stewarded by a 17-member Citizen Steering Committee, Terry First strived to make community engagement fun and interactive. By using surveys, mapping activities, walk and talk events, and brewery chats, Terry First challenged the local community to help design solutions and interventions for the district.
Partnering with Team Better Block, Terry First culminated in a three-day long“Build a Better Block” event, where community members actively built the streetscape improvements they helped design. Featuring new murals, art, parks, parklets, and a half-mile worth of purple multi-use trail, Pocatello’s Better Block helped local residents and decision makers experience the future of the Warehouse District and test out its improvements first-hand.
Terry First resulted in a community-driven vision for the future in the Terry First Final Report. The vision was tested through a summer of temporary placemaking installations and streetscape improvements. However, the project resulted in more than a streetscape plan and temporary improvements. By forming close working bonds between community volunteers, the City, ISU, Idaho Department of Transportation, and many local businesses and community groups, Terry First resulted in an empowered and active community that believes in their ability to shape the future of the Warehouse District.
In recognition of these successes, Terry First was awarded the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association’s 2019 Public Outreach Award.