Connec+ing MKE - Downtown Plan 2040

Designing Downtown's Future, Together

Fostering a More Walkable, Vibrant, and Diverse Downtown 

The City of Milwaukee's Department of City Development (DCD) and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 are co-leading a comprehensive planning process with the community to shape the next two decades of development, policies, and programs that enable a more walkable, vibrant, diverse, inclusive and resilient downtown. 

"Connec+ing MKE - Downtown Plan 2040" serves as an update to the 2010 Downtown Area Plan, which has been the blueprint for downtown's transformation over the past decade. Projects first identified in the 2010 Downtown Area Plan that have since been completed include transforming the Park East Corridor with projects like the North End and the Deer District, revitalizing West Wisconsin Avenue, enhancing pedestrian connections between the Historic Third Ward and central business district, and developing the downtown lakefront. 

Photo: River Rhythms (2019) by Chow Content

Connect With US

Participate in Our First Public Meeting 

A series of virtual public meetings will be held quarterly throughout the planning process, starting this December. Your involvement is key in achieving a downtown designed for everyone. Please consider joining the conversation by registering today. 

You are invited to join our first public meeting on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at 6:30 PM CST. Registration is recommended for this virtual event. Click here to register. 

Sign-Up to Receive Updates on the plan

Engage With Us

Join Our Virtual Dialogue 

In addition to attending our virtual public meetings, we encourage you to join our virtual community dialogue on Social Pinpoint, a free, online resource that helps our planning team collect input from you and the public. Share your thoughts with us and engage with other community members by adding comments to our interactive map and ideas wall. Your input will influence our planning decisions by identifying opportunities for growth and improvement.  

Add Comments to Our Interactive Map
Add Comments to Our Virtual Ideas Wall 
Register for Our First Public Meeting on December 9, at 6:30 PM

Creating an Innovative City

Cities across the country are meeting today's challenges with innovative solutions to ensure that downtown remains a competitive place to live, work, learn, and play. Understanding the community's racial disparities, a shifting work environment, global climate change, and their collective impact on our region will influence our plan.  

In addition, COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of daily life in the city, but never more apparent than the innovative approaches to public spaces, streets, and parks. Locally, the City of Milwaukee's Active Streets for Business program allowed for tactical improvements in our built environment and enhanced the pedestrian experience by often reallocating a vehicular traffic lane for cafe seating and expanded sidewalks. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of public space and its critical role in our communities.

Connec+ing MKE - Downtown Plan 2040 will address these factors and how to shape a resilient city center for the next generation. 

Rendering of Ascent courtesy of New Land Enterprises. 

Meet The Project Team

The City of Milwaukee's Department of City Development (DCD) and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 are co-leading the update to the 2010 Downtown Are Plan. The Project Leadership Team includes representation from DCD, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, Milwaukee County (economic development, parks, and transportation), Historic King Drive BID, Westown Association, MKE United, and the City of Milwaukee's Department of Public Works. The project team is also supported by TKWA (The Kubala Washatko Architects) and P3 Development Group, LLC. 

Connec+ing MKE - Downtown Plan 2040 seeks to reach as many stakeholders as possible through a multifaceted community engagement strategy, including the Project Leadership Team, the Downtown Plan Advisory Group, the Downtown Plan Community Council, and four (4) virtual public meetings.

If you are interested in learning more about the Connec+ing MKE - Downtown Plan 2040 process, contact us at

Rendering of Vel R. Phillips Plaza courtesy of TKWA.

2010 Downtown Plan: Featured Projects