Wilmington is beginning a year-long effort to come up with a comprehensive plan that will guide economic development across the city for the next 10 years.

The City of Wilmington is beginning a year-long process this month of developing a new citywide comprehensive plan which will guide growth and development across the City for the next decade. The plan is entitled Wilmington 2028 and is being managed by City Planning Director Herb Inden and his departmental team. Delaware law requires all counties and municipalities to have a comprehensive plan in place that is reviewed and updated every 10 years. This plan must be approved by the City Planning Commission, Wilmington City Council and eventually, the State of Delaware.

Currently, Wilmington has a Citywide Plan along with 11 Neighborhood plans that provide the framework for setting land-use policy throughout the city. The new comprehensive plan will combine all of the existing plans into one document that will better reflect the goals and aspirations of residents and City government for Wilmington’s future.

The new comprehensive plan is an opportunity to build upon work that is already being done to improve the quality of life of Wilmington and its diverse neighborhoods at both the City level – Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, Downtown Development District, Crime and Blight Working Group – as well as at the grassroots neighborhood level.

Wilmington 2028 is being compiled with the help of Philadelphia-based Interface Studio LLC, which began conducting initial interviews with various stakeholders in mid-August. The process is continuing this week as citizens and other stakeholders are asked to complete a brief survey which can be accessed by visiting


The survey process will be followed by a series of five public meetings to begin in late October and run through the end of November. In the early months of 2018, a collection of focus groups will address specific issues and make recommendations. Preliminary recommendations will be submitted to the public for feedback in the spring of next year, and a draft of the new comprehensive plan will be shared with the City and citizens in the summer of 2018.

“Much is being done at both the government and neighborhood and grassroots levels to improve the quality of life here in Wilmington,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “This comp plan process affords us the opportunity to address the challenges our city faces today as well as develop a new vision for tomorrow. This will be a community-driven effort which I would like to see reflect the hopes and priorities of our citizens. This plan will guide future development, and shape where and why public and private investment dollars are spent to make Wilmington a stronger and more prosperous City over the next decade.”

A 21-member Steering Committee has been selected by the Mayor and the City Planning Department to review the initial findings of the project’s research phase and help guide the public engagement and plan development phases. The Steering Committee is scheduled to meet every other month to help oversee, guide and promote the plan.

The Steering Committee members are:

  • Laura Wilburn – Executive Director, Urban Bike Project
  • Martin Hageman – Executive Director, Downtown Visions
  • Paul Morrill – Executive Director, Committee of 100
  • Barbara Washam – Upper East Side community resident
  • Beatrice “Bebe” Coker – Community Activist
  • Hanifa Shabazz – City Council President
  • Maria Matos – Executive Director, Latin American Community Center
  • Marie Reed – President, Southbridge Civic Association
  • Sarah Lester – Economic Development Manager, Westside Grows Together
  • Dr. Carrie Gray – Managing Director, Wilmington Renaissance Corporation
  • Sarah Lamb – Director of Design and Marketing, BPG
  • John Harrod – Manager, DuPont Environmental Education Center
  • Maria Dziembowska – Urban Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy
  • David Edgell – Kent County Circuit-Rider Planner, Office of State Planning Coordination
  • Richard E. Hall, AICP – General Manager, New Castle County Land Use Department
  • Patti Miller, MPP – Senior Policy Analyst, Nemours
  • Richard Gessner – Board Chair, Wilmington Land Bank
  • Timothy Crawl-Bey – Executive Director, Inter-Neighborhood Foundation (INF) & Blueprint Community
  • Rev. Terrence Keeling – Pastor, Central Baptist Church; President/CEO, Central Baptist CDC
  • Dave Gula – Principal Planner, Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO)
  • John Sisson – CEO, Delaware Transit Corporation (DART First State)

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