March 11th Meeting

Public Input Workshop

Twenty neighbors, community leaders and Riverfront advocates joined together to participate in a public input workshop March 11 at Pullman’s Restaurant. 

Participants were asked four questions to help define what a great neighborhood means to them.  They were:

  1. What makes Appleton a great place to live? 
  2. What makes a great neighborhood? 
  3. What makes a great building?
  4. What makes a great riverfront? 

Community feedback will be incorporated into the project design process and business recruitment efforts.  A summary of the feedback is listed below.  If you would like to share your suggestions/feedback with the project developers, please use the contact us page on this website.  Thank you!


  1. 1.     Question:  What Makes Appleton a great place to live?

Group A:               

  • Lawrence University offers a lot of arts
  • Easy to drive, park, get around – low hassle
  • Safe, walkable, manageable traffic
  • Friendly community with low crime rate
  • Healthy Downtown
  • Spirit of Philanthropy
  • Jobs
  • YMCA, Library, Farmer’s Market
  • Density of location of amenities, public places – all within walking distance
  • Hub for shopping area larger than Appleton
  • Excellent health care
  • Water/River
  • Small Town aspects/large City (example:  Performing Arts Center)
  • Golf Course in Middle of the City
  • Trees
  • Parks
  • Great educational system
  • Emphasis on Human Services

Group B:

  • Downtown Activities – Farmer’s Market, Concerts, Music, Parades, Events
  • Big Town in little package
  • Great Schools
  • Low crime rate
  • Close to recreational activities
  • Diverse, interesting people
  • Historical area & amenities
  • Valley Transit & airport – transportation
  • Hospitals
  • Wildlife
  • Trees
  • Clean Fox River
  • Family businesses
  • Family-friendly & Kid-friendly
  • Eldercare services
  • Snow removal – municipal services
  • Roads/bridges
  • Jobs
  • Fishing in the River
  • Neighborhood Parks
  • Sidewalks
  • Safe at Night
  1. 2.     Question:  What makes a great Neighborhood?

Group A.

  • Good Neighbors
  • Services like sidewalks/lighting
  • Visually interesting with variety of amenities & store fronts are narrow for visual stimulation
  • Vegetation, landscaping, blvds, yards, trees – makes it feel compatible with people
  • Safe neighborhood
  • Feeling of community
  • Neighborhood has focus or identity where people can gather
  • Access to neighbors – not divided by traffic
  • Trader Joes – amenities within walking distance

Group B.

  • Neighborhood Watch Program
  • Bike trails
  • People reporting problems early before they get too big
  • Mature trees
  • Well maintained properties
  • Houses with gardening & landscaping
  • Historical Areas
  • Close to hospital
  • Parks & open areas
  • Neighborhood stability – people there a long time
  • Incorporate Canal as port of neighborhood
  • Quiet – no excess noise
  • Green Space
  • Natural atmosphere
  • Architecturally blends with neighborhood – historical
  • Not too tall for neighborhood
  • Low traffic
  • No surface parking
  • Lighting Friendly to Neighbors – doesn’t impose on residences
  • Public Square
  1. 3.      Question:  What makes a great building?

Group A.

  • CPTED – landscaping, security, lighting, safe, transitions – no dark alleys.
  • Let outside in & inside out (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Access to each other from outside (not the mall) – even apartments & condo’s having outside entrances.
  • River is only natural resource – utilize it.  (Example … Lawrence additions)
  • Surrounding architecture – make it fit together.  Factories will be here.
  • Details/materials used
  • Natural light – sunshine in winter
  • Building to reveal itself – can’t predict it all from one spot (ex:  not a big box lay-out)
  • Variety of construction – vary roof lines
  • Plantings
  • Green Space
  • Place for visitors to play outside
  • Multi-generational
  • Parking for businesses & visitors
  • Hallways have aesthetics if you have to have them
  • Energy efficient – green concepts
  • Aesthetics on the outside – visually interesting inside and out.
  • Reflective of homes being built today.

Group B.

  • Porches & Patios – with rules that are enforced by management
  • Soft lighting
  • Not too tall
  • Not too many cars – underground parking
  • Three stories or less
  • Brick like on north side of Flats (Example:  Fox River Mills)
  • Roof Gardens
  • Architecture that belongs in the Flats – like Industrial
  • Colors – Earth tones, river, soft – part of the environment
  • Entrance away from Canal – Island or Railroad Street
  • Public Art
  • High Ceilings
  • Nature plants & grasses
  • Green Technology
  • Wide balconies – exiting away from building
  • Fewer, bigger units
  • Public sitting areas
  • Security cameras
  • Covered parking
  • Maintenance – garbage out of sight
  • Not one big building – spread out development
  • Natural light
  • Public areas inside
  • Feel like a residential area
  • Trader Joes or neighborhood grocery store
  • Unique retail/groceries
  1. 4.      Question:  What makes a great riverfront?

Group A:

  • Birdseye view of water
  • Docks
  • Accessibility – public access with views
  • Watching lock process – public place to watch
  • No fences – access to water
  • Able to walk the waterfront – connectivity
  • Reasons to gather
  • Park benches & tables
  • Locktender to open locks?
  • Shelter with bathrooms & ice cream stands
  • Infuse the arts with activities & events
  • Connect the trails and have them go somewhere
  • Lock Tender house – amenities for boaters – food/beverages
  • Variety of entertainment venues – not all quiet
  • Gathering spot – Jazz in the park

Group B.

  • Clean
  • Green
  • Places to sit
  • Public Friendly
  • Dog ordinance – enforce … this is a current problem
  • Things for Boat Owners – tie-ups
  • Wide access along northside
  • Not overdeveloped or over-populated (example:  small deli instead of big restaurant)
  • No big box stores or chains
  • Mom & Pop stores
  • Wide setback from river/canal to the buildings
  • Retain some historical parts – (example:  red brick, smoke stack, etc.)
  • Views
  • Trees
  • Wildlife – help the wildlife
  • No cars along the canal
  • Bald Eagle nesting site
  • River boat rides up and down the river
  • Variety of areas so it is not the same all the way along the river
  • See as corridor of area  – connect to other ports
  • Once a year – special event with music, public speaking

A Unique Sense of Place

Four main attributes help define a GREAT place, according to Project for Public Spaces:

  • Easily accessible

  • Provides recreational &
    social activities

  • Creates a comfortable,
    positive image

  • Sociable place where people like to gather

In addition to being accessible, successful placemaking connects people with each other. A major emphasis of this development project is to create walkable and transit links to neighboring destinations, including Downtown Appleton. Several public input sessions will be held to gather feedback about what types of new places would enhance the area.