The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 31
To: Troutville & Daleville & (Exit 150A)
Natural Bridge (Exit 175 or 180)
Lexington (Exit 188 B)
CITY'S EVOLUTION I: CROSS-CULTURAL CONNECTIVITY
ED WALKER, PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPER
Walker is often cited as the major opening shooter
in Roanoke's downtown overhaul. It's been less than
10 years since he started and the results have been
astonishing and contagious. Walker's take:et
Major renovations "for the past 15 years can be
Ave attributed to state and federal tax credits. That is maale
jor policy at work in a macro sense. If it goes away,
[development] will be much less dynamic."
He believes "emphasis on cooperation and crosscultural connectivity [must be] meaningful. We need
to connect people and the various parts of town, bring
in 11th Street, Southeast, Melrose, and the like. ...
"Projects downtown are lifestyle driven. There are
great condos; ownership is big [for businesses]. There
is a lot of mixed use, centered on lifestyle ... Urban
activists are using parts of the canvas. ...
"One Big Idea is to learn from the past 40 years,
both good and bad; 1974 was part of the darkest days
of downtown. [We rlearned that] good government
To Smith Mountain Lake
matters. We can take the lessons of the past and carry
them forward. [Advances] have been good, but until
there is a broader level of achievement, it is just good.
Parkway Milepost 112
[There must be concentration on] per capita income,
creating space for entrepreneurs, as was done with
"I feel good about where we are, but we need to
create the eco system to figure out how more people
can make more money. There are 450 people in the
historic district of Wasena, but [if they are to improve
the neighborhood], they have to earn more."
Vital to the future is to "create that eco system that
is cooperative, supportive and positive in every economic quadrant of the city. ...
"I hate politics, but politics is part of it. It is foundational and it begins with good local government. If
we don't have [good political leadership] we will fall
short. Good government at the lower levels deals with
the public on the front lines."
Ed Walker (with wife
Katherine): "There are
450 people in the historic
district of Wasena, but [if
they are to improve the
neighborhood], they have
to earn more."