Plan to Create a Proud and Unified Community of Richmond

Replenish Richmond’s mission is to proactively strengthen the fabric of the Community of Richmond, which it considers to be the City of Richmond and the seven surrounding counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan.   The long term objective is to establish Richmond as the best possible place in the world to live, work and visit.  Guiding the effort to achieve that objective is the Plan to Create a Proud and Unified Community of Richmond.  A critical component of this Proud and Unified Plan is facilitating the social formation of the Community of Richmond – transforming a collection of eight separate jurisdictions into ONE proud and unified community.  In the Richmond Region, local governments have moved slowly related to regional cooperation, let alone regional collaboration, and until Virginia’s laws are changed there is little hope for movement on that horizon.  Ultimately, change will only come because it is the demonstrated will of the citizens of the region.  Replenish Richmond intends to strengthen that will by continually promoting the many benefits of a regional approach to solving problems and creating opportunities – leading to the best possible quality of life for the more than one million Richmonders living in the region.

Once we embrace the Richmond Region as one community, Richmonders will find it easier and easier to cooperate and collaborate, and the Proud and Unified Plan will gain the positive momentum needed to become a self-fulfilling prophesy.  It is expected that this proud and unified process will take many years to achieve and Replenish Richmond intends to play a critical role by continually:

  • Encouraging, engaging and empowering Richmonders to become more intentionally involved in their community.
  • Identifying and promoting the many positive community benefits being realized through regional cooperation and collaboration.
  • Increasing the number of community connections within the Region, and continually strengthening those connections.
  • Working to regionally align each major subset of the Community of Richmond:
    • Business Community / Civic and Non-Profit Community / Creative Community / Education and Scientific Community / Faith Community
  • Promoting and facilitating continued inspection and dialogue concerning all aspects of living in the Richmond Region.
  • Using the power of Richmond’s past and present to positively influence its future, and the future of all mankind.

The Proud and Unified Plan intends to blaze a new trail of people-based community development and is informed by the goals and objectives of six important City and Richmond regional community plans:

  • The City of Richmond Downtown Master Plan, adopted by Richmond City Council in 2008
  • The City of Richmond Riverfront Plan, adopted by Richmond City Council in 2012
  • The City of Richmond Anti-Poverty Commission Report, presented in January 2013
  • The Capital Region Collaborative Strategy Blueprint, presented in October 2013
  • The Richmond Regional Planning District Commission Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, released in July 2014
  • The Richmond’s Future Final Report, presented in the fall of 2015

The Proud and Unified Plan is a long term strategic plan comprised of twelve (12) subset Planning Strategies which collectively intersect with all aspects of life in Richmond.  Every Replenish Richmond strategy, project and effort will have a distinct relationship to the Proud and Unified Plan, creating a constant wave of positive energy that will wash over the Community of Richmond, establishing a growing momentum that will never wane.

Plan to Create a Proud and Unified Community of Richmond – 12 Planning Strategies

A proud and unified Community of Richmond starts with a process to continually strengthen the fabric of the many smaller elements of our community.  The Plan to Create a Proud and Unified Community of Richmond is based around the following twelve (12) planning strategies which collectively cover all aspects of life in the RVA.  Replenish Richmond considers the quality of life components of education, equality, health and public safety to be primary considerations for any thriving community, and will consider them in all planning strategies and related programs.

1) Buy Richmond Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when Richmonders patronize other Richmonders.  The Buy Richmond Strategy will complement and supplement other regional efforts like the Retail Merchants’ “Think, Shop, Buy Local” Campaign to try and keep more of our dollars in the Region.  The continued strength of Richmond’s regional economy is directly dependent on the decision of Richmonders to buy from a RVA business whenever making a product or service purchase.  It is expected that the success of this strategy will both support the economy of the region and strengthen the bonds between Richmonders.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – East End Community Collaboration / Seeding the Bottom / Stone Dam Partnership / Replenish Richmond Community Database

2) Community Service Database Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when more Richmonders are better aware of the multitude of programs and services available to enhance their quality of life.  Most Richmonders needing assistance are unaware of the available programs and services that might help them.  The same is true of service providers, which are often unaware of other programs and services in their own area of expertise.  The Community Service Database Strategy intends to maximize access to information for all Richmonders through a public-private collaboration that creates a current, objective, user-friendly information source for the Richmond Region for all services related to:  Child Care / Public Safety / Transportation / Job Training / Workforce Readiness / Education / Housing / Social Services / Health and Fitness / Financial Management / Recreation / Government Assistance

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Replenish Richmond Community Database / East End Community Collaboration / The HOPE Program – Community Coach / Stone Dam Partnership

3) Community Transportation Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when more Richmonders have better access to the many wonderful aspects of living in Richmond – access to education, to jobs, to services, to entertainment, to history, to life in the region.  Unfortunately Richmond has many holes in its public/private transportation network.  The Community Transportation Strategy intends to maximize the Transportation Capacity of the Region through well-managed community collaboration, matching available public and private transportation resources to our citizen’s transportation needs – supporting the development of our workforce and expanding the experiences and opportunities of all Richmonders, and all visitors to Richmond.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Double the Travelers / East End Community Collaboration / The Downtown Loop / Replenish Richmond Community Database

4) Creativity Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when the creative spirit in all of us is allowed to flow freely.  Replenish Richmond believes the strength of the Community of Richmond is mystically tied to the collective creative spirit in all its citizens.  That power grows when all citizens, especially youth, have regular access to and are surrounded by the beauty, joy and stimulation of the creative spirit, along with innovative and creative people.  The Creativity Strategy intends to complement and supplement other regional efforts to support and promote creativity and innovation, like the RVA and the “i.e.” Campaigns.  It is expected that the success of this strategy will have a direct positive impact on the other eleven strategies of this Proud and Unified Plan.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Stone Dam Partnership / A Piece of Peace / Our Richmond / Richmond Day / Cheer 4 Richmond

5) East End Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when poverty, unemployment and related negative social and economic conditions impact fewer and fewer Richmonders.  Unfortunately, for too many residents of the East End of the City of Richmond and Henrico County, poverty and unemployment have been constant for years, and sometimes generations.  The East End Strategy intends to strengthen the East End by expanding awareness in the Richmond Region and beyond of the “community treasure chest” that is the East End – great people, unparalleled history, amazing parks and community spaces, spectacular architecture, incredible scenery, and the James River.  The strategy will pay particular attention to creating opportunities for the poor and underserved, utilizing the many talents of these East End residents to execute a comprehensive community building and marketing campaign designed to benefit their community and all of Richmond.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – East End Community Collaboration / East End Exchange (E3) / My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper / GIMME 5 / East End Community-Quilting Project / Seeding the Bottom / LGBTQ+ Asset Mapping Project

6) Environmental Stewardship Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when Richmonders intentionally consider the health of their natural environment in all of their decisions and actions.  Since environmental stewardship is a learned behavior, the Environmental Stewardship Strategy will concentrate on teaching our youth to be excellent stewards of their environment so that it will be instinctual for the rest of their lives.  It is expected that the best way to reach adult Richmonders who were not raised in such a manner is through their children and grandchildren.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Richmond Institute of Sustainability / RVA Green Team / MLK Urban Agriculture Center / Recycling is Magic/ Richmonds of the World

7) James River Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when a common identity is felt among all members of the community.  In the Richmond Region, the greatest common bond for all Richmonders is our water source and playground, the James River.  In an effort to take maximum advantage of our multi-faceted natural resource, the James River Strategy intends to inspire and enable Richmonders to be excellent stewards of this incredible asset and also to brand the James River as the icon for the Richmond Region, helping to craft a regional identity that will help lead to a proud and unified Community of Richmond.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – JRPS Student Service Learning Project / Richmond Institute of Sustainability / RVA Green Team / Richmonds of the World

8) The Most Influential and Historic Community in America Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when more Richmonders are proud of their home community, including and especially its complex and sometimes conflicting history.  Replenish Richmond believes the Community of Richmond, centered in Shockoe, is quite literally the most influential and historic community in America.  Richmonders have yet to capitalize economically on the power of this history and have just started to become truly proud of it.  The Most Influential and Historic Community in America Strategy intends to establish the accuracy of the statement and to use the power of Richmond’s past to positively change Richmond’s future, both economically and socially.  The strategy will build on the attention Richmond’s history has recently received from the Civil War Sesquicentennial and the ongoing discussions related to slavery and Shockoe Bottom.  The strategy intends to influence a growing number of Richmonders to become proud of their community’s powerful historic resume and to invite the world to come and experience that power.  The ultimate goal of this strategy is to brand Richmond as the most influential and historic community in America by 2026, the 250th anniversary of the beginning of our nation in 1776.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Most Influential & Historic Community Campaign / Richmond Day / Blues Armory Project / Double the Travelers / Richmond Travel Ambassadors

9) Non-Profit Capacity Building Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when the non-profit and charitable communities work together efficiently and effectively.  In Richmond the silo mentality is fully established and non-profits are just now starting to understand the importance of cooperation and collaboration.  The Non-Profit Capacity Building Strategy intends to take advantage of our community’s caring and generous nature and maximize the positive impact of our non-profits on the lives of Richmonders across the region.  The strategy includes working with other entities in the development of a comprehensive Regional Non-Profit Strategic Plan, the institution of stricter operational guidelines and enforcement, enhancement of overall administrative efficiency, elimination of service duplication, and significantly increased organizational collaboration and coordination.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – East End Community Collaboration / My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper / Replenish Richmond Community Database / GIMME 5 / Stone Dam Partnership

10) Nurture the Heart – Support the City Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when the Region’s core, its heart – the City of Richmond, the Capital of the Commonwealth – is strong and thriving and regarded as the centerpiece of the region.  In recent past, the City of Richmond has been perceived as inferior by its jurisdictional neighbors, in part due to a concern about crime, poverty and other common urban problems.  The Nurture the Heart – Support the City Strategy intends to reverse the negative perception of the City by helping to reduce urban problems and accentuating the many positives.  An important part of this strategy will be to introduce Richmonders from across the region to their Capital City, a place most have spent little or no time in, and to re-introduce Richmonders who have abandoned the City.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Stone Dam Partnership / Most Influential & Historic Community Campaign / Double the Travelers / Blues Armory Project / Seeding the Bottom

11) Richmonds of the World Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when more Richmonders, particularly our youth, better understand the global community they are a part of and feel a direct connection to that community.  The Richmonds of the World Strategy intends to use our Twin City relationship with Richmond upon Thames (Richmond’s namesake) and the other 90 communities around the world named Richmond to expand the minds of all Richmonders and to inspire a desire to help strengthen Richmond’s future participation and influence in the global community.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – ROTW Education Initiative / ROTW Public Safety Initiative / ROTW Sustainability Initiative / Richmond Twinning / Pocahontas History Project / Richmond Day

12) Smart Growth Strategy

The Community of Richmond is stronger when more Richmonders are consciously invested and involved in the physical growth of our community.  Until very recently the Richmond Region has grown at a rate that was both uncoordinated and unsustainable.  The Smart Growth Strategy intends to supplement and complement the efforts of organizations like Preservation Virginia, the Partnership for Smarter Growth and Historic Richmond to curb sprawl, to maximize use of what we already have in place, and to promote cooperation and collaboration in planning for the future.  It is expected that the success of this Strategy will have a direct positive impact on the other eleven strategies of this Proud and Unified Plan.

  • Associated Replenish Richmond Projects – Richmond Institute of Sustainability / East End Community Collaboration / Seeding the Bottom / Replenish Richmond Community Database