Innovation Center Urban Design A creative space within the Downtown Wichita offices built to convene and engage, the Innovation Center exists to further Downtown and regional economic and community development initiatives and strategies. The space serves as a resource when pursing investment in Downtown Wichita and provides an inviting presentation space to market the development of Downtown. The Innovation Center also gives the Downtown Wichita organization the ability to host various meetings to engage stakeholders and the opportunity for collaboration with higher education institutions in the areas of design, real estate and urban development to further develop Downtown as an economic hub for the region. The Innovation Center was created in 2011 by Downtown Wichita in partnership with the Knight Foundation Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation and a number of private sector partners. Ensuring that development fosters walkable connections between places; encouraging dense, mixed-use spaces with a focus on ground-floor activation; and finally promoting projects that seamlessly connect and interact with the streetscape - are all important components of urban design. Since urban development constitutes a different way of designing structures than those found in the suburban parts of our community, Downtown Wichita works with developers, property owners and the public sector to realize these development objectives. In addition, as developers work through project due diligence, Downtown Wichita can provide up-to-date market information, and act as a facilitator for other collaborations necessary for a project to be successful. In 2017, Downtown Wichita was involved with several projects including the Spaghetti Works site redevelopment and adjacent Naftzger Park, Cargill Protein Division’s new headquarters and River Vista along the Arkansas River. An important role for the Downtown Wichita organization is to regularly advocate on behalf of the district and its stakeholders. Working collaboratively with community partners, Downtown Wichita has an active role in shaping policy at the local, regional, state and national level to positively impact the momentum underway in Wichita’s urban core. The organization regularly works with public partners on projects within the district, providing economic data or testimony of how and if a project meets the objectives set forth in Project Downtown. In addition, the organization promotes and educates on the importance of the Historic Tax Credit Program (both state and federal programs) in Downtown’s revitalization. A necessary tool in preserving our historic architecture, many adaptive reuse projects in Downtown Wichita would not be financially possible without this program. Advocacy D O W N T O W N 3 6