Huntsville holds online forum for questions on Big Picture Master Plan

HUNTSVILLE Ala. -- Thursday the City of Huntsville gave everyone a chance to ask about plans for the city's future growth in an interactive online forum.

Last month the city launched its Big Picture Master Plan. City leaders say the plan will lead to the smart growth of the city.

"We're 218 square miles. We're actually larger, significantly larger in square area than Atlanta, Philadelphia, Denver. I mean we're a sprawling city," said Dennis Madsen, Huntsville's Urban and Long Range Planning Manager.

The plan is available to the public online. It outlines the future of economic growth, neighborhood redevelopment, parks and greenways, transportation among other things.

"We actually take public input really really seriously," said Madsen. "A lot of what is in the Big Picture Plan, I'd say the majority of it, really started with the community."

To make it even easier to hear from the community, Madsen answered questions in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" forum.

"It doesn't matter how good a planner I might be. I'm never going to know your neighborhood, or your commute, or your experience as well as you," he said.

He answered questions about new developments, rent costs, electricity, recycling, and a lot about transportation.

"We're spending a lot of money on making sure our roads are upgraded, but long term we're going to have to have a really diverse transportation network to make sure that our commute times stay reasonable, that our quality of life stays reasonable."

Browse the thread and see intriguing questions and their answers, dealing with long-term and short-term plans.

"It doesn't matter if you didn't grow up here. If you want to contribute, if you want to be a part of the community, you can be," said Madsen.

You can also submit questions about the plan on their website or Facebook page.

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