By 2025: Improve Midland’s competitive advantage by enhancing the physical and cultural environments to make Midland a more vibrant, engaging place to work and live.
Encourage positive attitudes toward Midland by creating and communicating opportunities for people to engage in the community and with others who have common interests.
Advocate for and work to implement innovative design, cohesive architecture, connectivity and quality outdoor spaces in the Midland built environment.
Q: What is the most important takeaway for the community regarding the Quality of Place objective and strategies?
A: While we acknowledge the critical needs in the other four focus areas – housing, infrastructure, education, and health & wellness – ensuring Midland is a place everyone can enjoy does not have to be sacrificed in the process. We can accomplish this by initiating efforts to better connect our citizens and create a built environment in a way that reflects our values, culture, and pioneering spirit.
Q: How does Priority Midland define “quality of place”?
A: By “quality of place,” we mean the characteristics of a community – the way it is planned, designed, developed, maintained and CONNECTED – that affect the quality of life of people living in, working in, and visiting it. It encompasses the aspects of a location that cause people to want to be there, beyond employment opportunities. While Priority Midland’s Quality of Place Working Group has identified two specific areas of focus – Connectedness (cultural environment) and the Built Environment – quality of place can be affected by numerous factors, including:
- Master planning;
- cultural amenities like libraries, art, museums and entertainment;
- parks and green space;
- community pride and awareness;
- restaurants and bars;
- diversity and inclusivity;
- housing costs;
- cleanliness of streets, neighborhoods and open areas;
- quality of public goods like healthcare and schools; and
- crime rates.
Q: Why was quality of place identified as an area of need for Midland?
A: Quality of place has an impact on how people feel about their environment – the way they connect to their communities, their surroundings, and each other. Midlanders take pride in their culture and values and want to enhance their community in a way that showcases those values and makes people feel welcome. In addition, quality of place can be negatively affected by issues that might arise during periods of rapid growth like the Midland area is experiencing, such as insufficient infrastructure causing excessive traffic congestion, a shortage of workforce housing, or worker shortages leading to long waits and other inconveniences.
Q: How will Midland’s Quality of Place enhancement be measured?
A: The metrics associated with specific initiatives within the quality of place category will ultimately be the number of users, inquiries, and positive engagements, in addition to the number of completed projects that seek to improve Midland’s quality of place, whether improving connectedness or the built environment.
Q: What would achieving this objective mean for Midland?
A: Connectedness (strategy #1): Midlanders pride themselves on their strong values and “neighbors helping neighbors” attitude, yet recent growth has made it difficult to communicate those values to newcomers and help them feel welcomed and engaged. Achieving the connectedness strategy will help to identify needs and resources across the area and enhance our collective feeling of community.
Built Environment (strategy #2): Midland’s growth has primarily been driven by cycles within the Permian Basin’s energy sector. Because of this, some buildings, structures and projects have had to go up quickly, without the opportunity for more thoughtful design, or no time to engage the applicable organizations (city, county or private) to consider related future development. By achieving this objective, the environment in which we all live and engage with one another will better reflect who we are and who we want to be.
Q: How will community engagement and connection opportunities be created (strategy #1)?
A: The Quality of Place Working Group is creating initiatives that provide connections to community information, events, and resources. They are creating a communications strategy and engagement opportunities that seek to better connect all Midland-area citizens.
Q: How will innovative design, cohesive architecture, connectivity, and quality outdoor spaces be accomplished (strategy #2)?
A: The Quality of Place Working Group is in the process of identifying several corridors in the Midland area that have the potential for visual and structural improvements. Partnerships are being formed with groups who are interested in improvements, and resources are being identified. In addition, the Working Group is creating a design resource toolkit to offer inspiration to the City, County, and developers for Midland’s design aesthetic. The resource look to Midland’s past, present and future desire to be a world-class community.
Q: How will this work be funded?
A: For the Connectedness initiatives, private and philanthropic funding will be sought for the prototype and launch phases, with an earned-revenue approach to sustainability (sponsorships and marketing). For the Built Environment initiatives, a combination of in-kind labor, private funding, government grants, and philanthropy will be sought as specific projects are identified.
Q: Who is leading this effort?
A: The Quality of Place Working Group includes a diverse group of committed Midland-area citizens from the corporate, nonprofit, small business, and community volunteer arenas. There is a mix of financial knowledge, design expertise, community organizing, and philanthropy in the group, creating the ability to source resources and implement initiatives quickly.
Q: Who will undertake the work required to meet the objective and strategies?
A: The Working Group members are currently leading the charge to accomplish these goals. However, there will soon be a need for professionals in the fields of marketing, architecture, engineering, and planning. The Working Group will continue to guide the goals, while sourcing experts for implementation of the initiatives.
Q: Is there an opportunity for Midland-area residents to get involved with and support this endeavor?
A: Yes, the Working Group is open to new members who are interested in working toward the shared goals of the team. In addition, there may be volunteer opportunities for events and beautification projects in the future. For more information, please fill out the form on the prioritymidland.com homepage, and note your interest in Quality of Place.