The descriptions below describe the community engagement activities that were undertaken during Phase 1 of this initiative. Stay tuned for updates when the master plan process gets underway in early 2024.

As we embark on the engagement, we understand that it’s important to center those who were most harmed by the actions of the past in conversations about what’s next, create opportunities for the broader Akron community to have an awareness of the history and use that as a baseline for discussing the future, and enable everyone to physically experience the Innerbelt to provide context for future aspirations. To support all of that we will have 4 activity tracks: Former Resident Engagement, Broader Akron Engagement, On site Engagement, Community Meeting Engagement.

Former Resident Engagement

  • Oral history interviews
  • Site tours
  • Focus groups
  • To create a more complete and permanent archive of the past
  • To use a better understanding of past to get insights on what could support healing and thriving on this site in the future

Broader Akron Community Engagement

  • Pop up engagement stations
  • Stakeholder conversations
  • To engage and interest a broader cross section of Akron in the future of the Innerbelt
  • To share info about the Innerbelt’s history and solicit community needs and desires for the future

On Site Engagement

  • Activation events on the Innerbelt
  • To give people an opportunity to physically experience the Innerbelt
  • To solicit ideas for the short- and long-term future of the site

Community Meeting Engagement

  • 2-3 community meetings
  • To share the data collected from the engagement activities
  • To have a more concrete conversation about community preferences for the site

The draft list of community preferences will be previewed with the community and refined in response before the City uses it to set up the next phases of the redevelopment process.

There will also be a follow up plan on how to continue the more complicated work of reckoning and healing since that too is a long-term effort.