Got Ideas For Lincoln Square? Upcoming Public Meetings Invite You To Share

Lincoln Square Mall Entrance in downtown Urbana.

Entrance to Lincoln Square Mall in downtown Urbana.

Wikimedia Commons

“What’s In Your Square?” the city of Urbana’s search for ways to revitalize Lincoln Square is moving to a new level, with a series of public meetings.

The one hour meetings will provide what are called visioning activities — exercises to encourage creative thinking about the future of the Lincoln Square shopping mall, the adjacent vacant hotel and the city-owned parking surrounding it.  

Mayor Diane Marlin says the meetings a are designed to get the public’s answers to questions about how Lincoln Square can be a more dynamic part of the community.

“What do you want to do here? What do you want to see here? What do you like about what’s there now?" said Marlin. "What would you like us to build on or enhance? Or, another question is, what’s not there that you think should be there?”

Marlin says everyone is welcome at the meetings, whether they live in Urbana or not. The meetings will be similar to the visioning sessions already held by Urbana’s various boards and commissions.

“We’ll have maps,” said Marlin. “They can use words. It’ll be an opportunity to interact with other people as well. And we’ve been getting a lot of good ideas so far. And this will all inform us as far as, really, what the community wants and needs at this site.”

The city will hold four public meetings over the next ten days — all of them at Lincoln Square Mall.

The first two meetings begin at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 27. The second two meetings will be held Saturday, June 30, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Marlin says the city has also been collecting comments and ideas about Lincoln Square from residents who filled out a survey, available on city of Urbana website. Close to 1,300 people have filled out the online survey, with additional surveys filled out on paper still waiting to be tabulated.

Marlin says she expects the “What’s In Your Square” surveying to continue into August, with the results to be released afterwards.

The mayor says that preliminary results show strong support for the Market At The Square, the city’s weekly farmer’s market at Lincoln Square. She says other comments suggest Lincoln Squaare could enhance downtown Urbana by becoming a site for housing, entertainment and family friendly activities.

Story source: WILL