Communities are built for connection. More than just a place to live, work, or play, communities connect people and resources. Parramore, an 819-acre Black community, experienced significant depopulation and unemployment in recent years. VHB worked with the City of Orlando, education leaders, public and private leaders, and the community to create a plan to revitalize the area, guided by 10 Healthy Community Design Principles such as promoting access to healthy food, investing in people and not cars, and encouraging mixed-use development.
Social—By leading multiple community forums involving extensive public engagement to encourage community support, VHB and local stakeholders envisioned a vibrant Parramore with transit-oriented development built around a new SunRail station and downtown university campus. With a new pre-k to college pipeline and various transit options, Parramore is once again a lively, connected community.
Environmental—Focused on investing in people and not cars, the neighborhood plan re-established the disjointed street grid and removed barriers to improve access from the Parramore neighborhoods to SunRail. Encouraging mixed-use development and fair housing with direct access to multimodal transportation will bring environmental benefits such as reduced emissions resulting from less trips and reduction in automobile dependency. Additionally, the City has established community gardens, a multiuse trail, and new recreational spaces to encourage healthy lifestyle.
Economic—By removing barriers to transportation opportunities and attainable housing, the plan proactively creates connections to employment centers and regional commerce that could have a lasting impact on the economic development of the Parramore community. Since plan adoption, the City has built several hundred attainable housing units and extended a Main Street program intended to support local businesses.