Embrace the Place - Celebrating the diversity, history, and future of Killeen
Embrace the Place started as an event to showcase the benefits of a vibrant downtown. Now, it is an identity campaign dedicated to promoting a positive and constructive viewpoint of Killeen.
With diversity comes different ways of being and thinking. In fact, our community draws its strength from these differences. Central Texas has multiple, rich layers of diversity. Children in our schools speak over 140 languages. The purpose of place design is to move from a community that has diversity to a community that experiences and celebrates diversity.
Our population will reach half a million people by 2020 and we must prepare for the increase in educated, skilled, and creative professionals that will soon call Central Texas home. Current earning opportunities in Killeen do not meet the expectations of many talented professionals. We must hold conversations that market the region and develop it in ways that are hospitable to the needs and wants of the next generation of workers. To embrace talent means developing current competitive advantages in education and in health care, and further strengthening the city’s partnership with Fort Hood.
Downtown Killeen and the Mounted Warfare Museum are two living, breathing examples of ways that we are unique, and unlike no other community. Both connect our community to Fort Hood while connecting our community to its past, present and future. A vibrant downtown infuses a city with a sense of permanence, identity and authenticity and presents a stage for enhancing the quality of place in Killeen. Without a vibrant downtown a community cannot prosper economically. The Mounted Warfare Museum will preserve, interpret, and tell the story of soldiers who have defended our freedom. The role of place design is to encourage leadership, partnerships and coordinated actions that nurture, develop and then shine the spotlight on our unique identity.
Our community is excellently equipped to learn as we go. The landscape is dotted with a recognized public school district, private and charter schools, a nationally-recognized community college, and an upper level university that is welcoming its first building while breaking ground on its second. In place design we embrace learning because we know that the future belongs to the learner, not the learned.
Embrace The Arts
Creativity is the lifeblood of new business growth and innovation. Companies, large and small, are seeking members of the creative class to fuel their growth. Arts culture and its infrastructure are the drawing cards for the creative class. The arts make a city vibrant. From live music to public art, we can inspire local residents to be the creative force that will drive Killeen’s future economy.
Cities are nesting places for people and people live in neighborhoods. For this reason Killeen’s neighborhoods need to have place-building features like parks, bike lanes and landscaping. Because Killeen wants to be the place-of-choice for the workforce of the future, there needs to be homes in neighborhoods that appeal to the them. This includes a diversity of home options nested inside neighborhoods that have distinct, memorable identities.