DCD’s Lafayette Crump on the importance of proper planning in Milwaukee│Ep. 64

Last updated on May 24th, 2021 at 01:35 pm

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Milwaukee Department of City Development commissioner Lafayette Crump was picking his daughter up from the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center when he was struck by the location’s clear visual connection to the city’s downtown.

“You turn around and there’s downtown right there,” he said of the location near West Walnut Street and North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. “You’re in the heart of Bronzeville, which to some folks it might feel like an entirely different world, and it’s right there, connected to downtown by line-of-sight. And we need to find ways to connect more than by just line-of-sight, by action, by connecting, by activating spaces, by making people feel welcome and comfortable.”

Crump discussed efforts to make the city more connected through its comprehensive plan and individual neighborhood plans during a recent talk at the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, a podcast partner of BizTimes Media.

He said the plan, which was originally adopted in 2010, lays out a vision for what’s possible within Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.

“We just have to find a way to implement the vision that exists in that plan and (I’m) really excited to see so many people trying to find ways to make everything we see on paper, to make those things a reality.”

Crump made it a point to highlight projects and progress going on throughout the city before discussing recent wins for the downtown area. Among those he mentioned were the Good Hope library, efforts to connect the 30th Street industrial corridor, Uptown Crossing, ambitious plans for King Drive, and the potential reconstruction of all of National Avenue.

“It is so important that we do not just see the best, most fun, most interesting developments either only take place downtown or only take place out in the suburbs. Everything that can exist in our region, we can do that throughout our neighborhoods,” Crump said.

He also touched on the need for community involvement in the planning and development process and praised Jim Barry III’s contribution to BizTimes’ “25 big ideas for Milwaukee’s future” feature in March. In the piece, Barry called for the full implementation of the city’s comprehensive plan.

For more, listen to Crump’s remarks in the player above or find the BizTimes MKE Podcast on Apple or Spotify.

Rotary Club of Milwaukee


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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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