A City Ready for Change
Erie Refocused Comprehensive Plan
The 2016 Erie Refocused Comprehensive Plan has been adopted by public, private and philanthropic leaders as a shared vision for the Erie community. When the plan’s author, Charles Buki was asked where to start with implementing the plan, he stressed the need to start in the city’s core. Buki also recommended Erie look at what the city of Cincinnati, OH did to revitalize their downtown through the work of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).
The EDDC was formed in 2017 to transform the city of Erie’s downtown core and spark revitalization across the region. Important lessons learned from Cincinnati and other communities who have successfully restored their downtowns, include:
The city of Erie faces very real challenges.
Erie is currently experiencing a weakened economy due to a declining population and tax base. In 2015, a Yahoo News report listed Erie as the eighth fastest-shrinking city in America. In 2017, Erie was named the “worst city for black Americans” by USA Today, based on disparities between black and white residents in various socioeconomic measures like employment and income levels. The zip code where the EDDC’s work is focused is the poorest zip code in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with an average median income of less than $10,000 per year.