100 Resilient Cities

Louisville

Download PDF
Explore the Strategy

Follow our progress

Louisville is a city with a distinct culture of innovation, collaboration and compassion.

Our goal is to become an even more compassionate city, where everyone can reach their full human potential. Cultivating resilience is critical to achieving that goal, because we must be prepared for challenges and setbacks as we prepare for the future in a world where everything is changing – our economy, society, technology, and climate.

We are proud of our strong economic growth over the last decade, but we have to do more to make sure that as a city, we are built for a future filled with both opportunities and challenges. Historical challenges have endured through to today: from typhoid and yellow fever, to floods and tornadoes that will only increase in the decades ahead; from slavery and institutional racism, to redlining and misguided urban renewal policies. We continue to struggle with segregated housing, educational disparities, aging infrastructure, a lack of affordable housing, and how to make the necessary investments in our community that will mitigate these circumstances. How we address equity and work on alleviating trauma across Metro Louisville will determine the true nature of our resilience.

To meet these challenges, we will continue to work with our state government for more tools and local options for revenue to support our vital services and infrastructure. We will maintain our ties to the global sustainability community, by aligning the visions in this document with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We will build on our strengths as a diverse, connected community and forge ahead as a compassionate city. From the individual who is homeless to the board chair of our largest corporations, Louisville can only be as resilient as our most vulnerable residents. We must be ready to meet the challenges of the future by creating paths to opportunity – and resilience – for all. That’s why we have placed our focus on making Louisville a city of equity, where every resident has access to a great education, career opportunities, quality health care, housing and the means to create a successful life for themselves and their families.

The Louisville resilience process involved two years of community engagement with stakeholders through interviews, workshops, surveys, focus groups, meetings and social media communication. We intentionally sought to connect with the diverse voices, skills, and expertise of our city’s residents, leaders, advocates, students, neighborhoods, businesses, non-profits, and faith-based organizations with the understanding that the pursuit of resilience requires a community effort. Throughout this process it was apparent that, as Louisvillians, we are proud of our traditions, willing to work on our full understanding of our past and hopeful for our future. A future that leads to greater understanding and prosperity for everyone in our community.

01 Embrace Lifelong Learning Ensuring equitable education attainment and a workforce of the future

02 Ensure a Safe + Healthy City Creating a clean, safe environment that provides our residents with access to a variety of opportunities and resources

03 Build a Vibrant Economy + Place Using economic opportunity as a springboard for creative placemaking

04 Innovate in Civic Engagement Foster social cohesion through greater levels of trust between communities and metro government

+ menu

01

Ensuring equitable education attainment and a workforce of the future

Education is a continuous process that occurs throughout life, allowing individuals to reach their full human potential. Through lifelong learning every resident is equipped for college, career, and a successful, productive life. We focus on the whole child’s development – mental, physical, and social – and assure that children are ready for school and families have their basic needs met and the resources to prosper. Adults in a child’s life understand the impact of trauma on children and families and help the child navigate to a level of resilience that supports ongoing personal growth. Together we will open the doors to opportunities that enrich learning and continuously provide children with possibilities leading to a successful life. Louisville is positioned to secure a strong, talented workforce leading to greater opportunities for our city.

Goals include:

  1. Ensure equitable education attainment for all residents from kindergarten through postsecondary education, improving the quality of learning experiences and standing up a promise scholarship and support systems to eliminate financial barriers to higher education.
  2. Attract, retain and develop talent for the workforce of the future through partnerships with the business community, opening up hands-on experiences for Louisville’s youth.

02

Creating a clean, safe environment that provides our residents with access to a variety of opportunities and resources

Louisville residents have the right to live in a safe and healthy city that assures mobility and an environment built upon strong infrastructure. To be a healthy city, we address the needs of vulnerable populations and tackle issues such as fair, quality housing and equitable food systems. Louisville is a city that addresses violence and substance misuse, a city that supports individuals who have been victimized, provides opportunities for re-entering citizens to be productive, and seeks alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.

Goals include:

  1. Address the needs of Louisville’s most vulnerable populations through the creation of a collaborative movement for health equity, as well as tactical actions on mental health, affordable housing, environmental justice, and an equitable food system.
  2. Implement trauma-informed violence reduction strategies which address the dual challenges of trauma and violence, while also promoting active community-building.
  3. Strengthen built and natural infrastructure to promote health and well-being, focusing on green and grey infrastructure, renewable energy, and multimodal transportation.

03

Using economic opportunity as a springboard for creative placemaking

We recognize that a vibrant economy builds community wealth through equitable employment opportunities for all residents who are paid a fair-living wage. By intentional economic development, employment possibilities will reach from manufacturing to service to entrepreneurship, capitalizing on our food, beverage and healthcare industries. We provide opportunities for residents to develop skill sets that promote workplace mobility. Residents will experience a breadth of cultural opportunities by experiencing the beauty of a vibrant park system and a diverse expression of the arts.

Goals include:

  1. Ensure inclusive and equitable economic growth in historically marginalized communities by actively advancing racial equity in workforce development and city procurement, and increasing investment without displacement in neighborhoods impacted by past discriminatory practices.
  2. Increase individual financial stability and opportunity for economic mobility with new tools for Louisville residents at the individual level, and by encouraging new growth in cooperative ownership structures and the tech industry.
  3. Build upon Louisville’s cultural assets so that every child and every adult, every resident new or old, benefits from equitable accessibility.

04

Foster social cohesion through greater levels of trust between communities and metro government

Louisville’s global reputation for performance improvement and innovation allows us to adapt quickly to future challenges. We accomplish this through the use of data, technology, crowd-sourcing, smart city strategies and problem-solving to increase operational and fiscal performance and by engaging community stakeholders in our innovation work. Technology will provide the platform for us to form a system of communication allowing us to efficiently address the basic needs of individuals in crisis. A system that promotes transparency builds integrity and trust. Integrity and trust grow not only from transparency but also involvement. It is getting involved to change social conditions so that all have equal opportunities. By being social agents, residents support residents creating social cohesion so that all may prosper.

Goals include:

  1. Cultivate social change agents and foster greater community cohesion by addressing issues of equity head-on and encouraging greater participation of residents in urban governance.
  2. Implement shared transparency and accountability measures with the community, using technology and data to make information and services more available to Louisville residents.

Read Louisville's Resilience Strategy