In 2016, Louisville Preservation Fund (a redevelopment-focused 501(c)3 built on a revolving loan fund model) desired an identity which accurately and effectively positioned their efforts in the Metro Louisville area and the surrounding region. For several years prior, LPF existed as an entity in name only - without much in terms of visual presentation or public presence. An initial branding effort was initiated, but those concepts never surfaced beyond internal review.
LPF's core mission is to be a catalytic resource for communities, developers, businesses, and civic leaders in adaptive reuse, sustainability, and architectural preservation. Through planning, partnerships, funding strategies, and collaborative action, LPF's vision to sustain healthy communities can be fostered across all of Louisville's historic neighborhoods and communities.
The project began with initial discovery meetings with LPF's board and staff. Through discussion, theme/audience categorization, and first-hand testimony, we worked together to define several audiences and their unique motivations.
After audiences and personas were defined, we began several rounds of concept development:
During concept reviews, Vital Sites was identified unanimously as the strongest concept. Further variations were explored.
Launching Fall 2017
Vital Sites is a new voice in this era of asset-based development in Louisville. Vital Sites is a resource for financial assistance, technical expertise, and policy solutions to encourage investment in vacant, undervalued, and endangered properties in Metro Louisville.
Louisville’s older buildings and neighborhoods contribute to our city’s identity, unique character, and rich diversity. They are models of healthy, sustainable development. They contain a mix of housing types for residents of all ages and incomes, provide space for start-up businesses and new restaurants, and offer human-scaled streets that encourage walking and biking.
We know that reusing rather than demolishing older buildings is a powerful economic catalyst and we have seen how well-designed new buildings that replace vacant land and surface parking lots can help knit our neighborhoods back together. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the power of the built environment to create a healthier and more sustainable city for future generations.
Experience in other cities, ranging from Cincinnati to Galveston, shows how an organization focused on tangible, creative building reuse projects can spur additional investment and community revitalization.
Now is the time for this kind of organization in Louisville.
Thousands of buildings and hundreds of acres remain vacant across the city. With the support of the Louisville community, we can help re-purpose these sites and structures and create a healthier, more sustainable, and more vibrant city of the future.