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Mayor Battle unveils Huntsville’s BIG Picture Master Plan

Published on November 20, 2018

Big Picture news conference

After four years of planning, more than 200 public workshops and lectures, a 24/7 online idea forum and an informative traveling exhibition, Mayor Tommy Battle and City leaders unveiled The BIG Picture master plan in its new, user-friendly, interactive digital format.

Available at BigPictureHuntsville.com, it is the City’s first published, comprehensive plan guided by direct and frequent input from citizens.

“This is a community-driven plan informed by the vision and desires of our residents, planning experts, and best practices,” Mayor Battle said. “This will be our compass and our roadmap for smart and sustainable growth in Huntsville over the next 5, 10, 15 years and beyond.”

Mayor Battle tasked Huntsville’s Long-Range Planner, Dennis Madsen, to lead the massive undertaking and create a plan that could adapt and bend with changing times.

“This is a living, breathing plan – not a document to be put on a shelf somewhere that never changes.” Madsen said. “By creating an online version of the plan that is regularly updated, we’re able to be more transparent with residents so they can see what the City is doing that impacts their future. They’ll see how policy is being directed, how we’re growing, and ultimately how we’re strategically working to improve neighborhoods, quality of life, and support economic development initiatives.”

Mayor Battle and Madsen emphasized: The BIG Picture planning process and the master plan itself will continue and evolve through community conversations, events and public feedback.

Who should use the plan?

Anyone and everyone interested in Huntsville’s future or urban planning! The BIG Picture Master Plan is publicly available for any individual or group wanting to know how and why is the City of Huntsville growing the way it is. It helps to answer why and where the City investing in infrastructure, the thinking behind zoning policies, and the role that public amenities like arts and entertainment have on Huntsville’s future success.

Current Huntsville Residents

This plan was created with a citizen-first priority. Citizens will be able to view municipal direction on numerous policy and planning topics, provide feedback, and check on a project’s status in real time.

Future Huntsville Residents & Businesses

The BIG Picture explains Huntsville’s values and perspectives that could impact the decision of future residents or business owners to relocate to the area. It shows a regional, national and global audience why Huntsville is an ideal location to live, work and play.


From elected officials to members of public boards and commissions such as the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment, the BIG Picture outlines the City’s position on policies related to economic growth, connectivity, community health, education, transportation, neighborhood design and more.

In a nutshell, what is the BIG Picture Master Plan?

The BIG Picture incorporates citizen ideas with a thoughtful analysis of trends and data on changing demographics, economic conditions, education, recreation, health care, and culture and leisure to position Huntsville for long-term, sustainable success and vitality.

The plan embodies six principles for growth that are specific to Huntsville. These include:

  • Build a Live/Work/Connect Community
  • Expand a Sustainable, Resilient Economy
  • Design a Mobile and Accessible Transportation Network
  • Maintain a Network of Exceptional Educational
  • Support Local Arts and Culture
  • Develop Healthy and Active Neighborhoods

These guiding principles drive a host of topics important to residents: Business Incubators, Complete Streets and Transit Options, Urban Agriculture, Strip Recovery and Placemaking, Design Guidelines, Small Area Plans, Greenways/Bike Infrastructure/Sidewalk Network, Updated Zoning, Energy Resiliency/Security/Sustainability, Recreation Destination, Business and Community Associations, Economic Development, Town and Gown and Aging in Place.

What comes next?

Citizens may provide ongoing feedback via the BIG Picture contact formFacebook page or they may participate in our online town hall forum at Imagine Huntsville.

To stay updated on the plan’s evolution, sign up for e-mail updates and frequently check BigPictureHuntsville.com.