The Innovation Center is a creative space within the Downtown Wichita offices built to convene and engage with key audiences. The center serves as a resource to further regional and economic development initiatives by giving staff the ability to host various meetings to collaborate with stakeholders, the community, students and more. In addition, it provides a welcoming atmosphere for presentations that allow staff to market and showcase development progress when pursuing investment opportunities. The space is utilized for downtown initiatives focused on design, real estate and urban development with partners and community-oriented organizations who are also able to access the space for various meetings. 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. Innovation Center Because urban development and design is fundamentally different from suburban development, Downtown Wichita works with developers, property owners and the public sector to help ensure that critical components of urban development core practices are incorporated into projects, including: In 2018, Downtown Wichita was instrumental in assisting the City of Wichita to engage and convene the community to discuss the future of Naftzger Park, the premier urban park in downtown Wichita. With input from the public, the design team was able to prioritize desired elements in the new park including an open lawn for larger events, several seating options with shade, a dog run for area residents, seasonal gardens and a pavilion/stage that can be activated on a regular basis with programmed activities. In addition, staff served on the Delano Neighborhood Planning Committee to help ensure the connectivity with downtown and assisted with other planning efforts including the Downtown Streetscape Planning and the Downtown Parking and Mobility Planning initiatives. Ensuring that development fosters walkable connections between spaces Encouraging dense, mixed-use buildings with a focus on ground-floor activation Promoting projects that seamlessly connect and interact with the streetscape Urban Design D O W N T O W N 3 6 DOWNTOWN At the job site of the Spaghetti Works project with Hutton