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Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The county seat of Milwaukee County is on Lake Michigan's western shore. Milwaukee's estimated population in 2019 was 590,547. Ranked by estimated 2018 population, Milwaukee is the 31st largest city in the United States.
Known for its brewing traditions, major new additions to the city include the Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee Bucks), the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Wisconsin Center, Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers), an expansion to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts and apartments have been built in neighborhoods on and near the lakefront and riverbanks.
Area Plans are part of the City's Comprehensive Plan. The City of Milwaukee is covered by 14 Area Plans which guide future neighborhood development with land use, design, and catalytic project recommendations.
In a process that began in 1999 in response to State of Wisconsin “Smart Growth” legislation, together with community partners and residents, the City of Milwaukee developed a comprehensive plan for the entire city for the first time in its 169 year history. The process began by dividing the city into 13 different planning areas. The thirteen area plans, informed by substantial public participation and analysis, identified key land use recommendations and prioritized neighborhood and development issues.
Each of the 13 area plans, plus an additional plan for the Harbor District, now comprises the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The legal significance of the area plans, as part of the citywide comprehensive plan, is that upon adoption all land use decisions within the boundaries of this plan must be consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies outlined in the documents.
The Downtown Area Plan is an update to the original 1999 Milwaukee Downtown Plan. The updated plan is not intended to replace the 1999 plan, but rather to build on the vision and successful initiatives of that plan. Since the inception of the 1999 plan most of the goals and objectives have been met, and most of the catalytic projects recommended in the 1999 plan are either completed or underway. This includes the creation of the Milwaukee Public Market, the redevelopment of the Park East Freeway Corridor, the re-use of the historic Pabst Brewery Complex, the renovation and expansion of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, and the construction and expansion of the Milwaukee Riverwalk. The 2010 Downtown Area Plan is an attempt to build on the momentum created by the policies and projects of the original 1999 plan and to provide a new vision for the future of Downtown Milwaukee.
The Harbor District Water and Land Use Plan was adopted by the Common Council on February 6, 2018. The plan was developed through a public/private partnership with Harbor District Inc. Additional information about planning and development in the Harbor District is available on the Harbor District Inc. website. Engaging in a strategic redevelopment of the Harbor District that maximizes brownfield remediation and environmental reclamation was identified in the City of Milwaukee’s sustainability plan, ReFresh Milwaukee, as a “catalytic project.”
The Menomonee Vally 2.0 Plan is part of a citywide comprehensive planning process that began in 1999 in response to State of Wisconsin “Smart Growth” legislation. The plan is an update to the original Menomonee Valley Plan which was completed in 1998, just prior to the comprehensive area plan process.
The Menomonee Valley 2.0 Plan contains a series of recommendations that fall into five major initiative areas:
1. Creating an East Valley Gateway Food and Beverage Cluster
2. Establishing a St. Paul Avenue Design Showroom District
3. Preserving the Bruce and Pierce Industrial District
4. Improving the Gateway to the Menomonee Valley from I-94
5. Better Connecting the Valley