Downtown and Center City planning is undertaken primarily by two organizations: The City-County Planning Board (CCPB) and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership (DWSP). The CCPB is responsible for making recommendations on all planning policies in Forsyth County, including Downtown and the Center City. The DWSP, according to the Downtown Plan, is responsible for defining, securing and organizing the community, financial and human resources necessary to effectively create and promote a dynamic revitalization plan for Downtown that will benefit the entire community.
The Downtown Plan, adopted in 2002 with updates in 2005 and 2007, provides the blueprint for future development in Downtown and the Center City. This plan was developed jointly by the Planning Board and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership with input from citizens and various community stakeholders. The primary objective of the Plan is to grow the Fourth Street and Trade/Liberty Street corridors into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, urban environment that connects to other Downtown districts and offers something for everyone. The Plan also offers development guidance for the rest of Downtown. The Plan recognizes that the success of Downtown is not only based on new development, but on preserving historic resources and encouraging mobility into and around Downtown. The Planning Board and DWSP is currently in the process of updating the Downtown Plan.
The City-County Planning Board also does a series of Area Plans for Forsyth County. Area Plans include parcel-specific development recommendations, including for land in the Center City area beyond the boundaries of the Downtown Plan. These plans were developed after the adoption of 2001 Legacy Plan by CCPB staff, citizens and local stakeholders.
In addition to the CCPB and the DWSP several other organizations are involved with development, design and/or land planning for parts of the Center City:
- Winston-Salem State University, UNC School of the Arts, Salem College and Wake Forest University are all involved in planning for the areas surrounding their campuses.
- The S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation (CDC) engages in development and community planning in the area around Winston-Salem State University and in East Winston.
- The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is involved in developing property in East Winston, particularly in the Cleveland Avenue corridor.
- The Liberty Street CDC develops land along and promotes the Liberty Street corridor.
- The Goler CDC has undertaken planning and development efforts in the northeastern part of Downtown, including an ambitious master plan.
- The Piedmont Triad Research Park has created a master plan for the eastern part of Downtown which involves new construction and redevelopment of former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco facilities into a world-class biotech research park.
- The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is involved in development and design in the Center City as well.