The Plan

Plan Components

The Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan is actually a series of five documents that make up the complete “box set.” The five components are: Growth Factors Report, Foundations Report, Policies, Growth Strategies Maps, and Growth Strategies Report. All five pieces work together to help Wilmington realize appropriate change, growth, and preservation. The plan was adopted by City Council on March 1, 2016 with an effective date of May 1, 2016.


Wilmington’s population is expected to continue to grow over the next 25 years. Wilmington can be a safe, healthy place to live with a high quality of life by focusing on infill and redevelopment, job growth, and housing options. Wilmington’s opportunities for growing outward are severely limited. Over the next 25 years, Wilmington should focus on growing inward and upward, integrating land uses to reduce traffic congestion and improve housing, working, and shopping options. A more densely developed, walkable city can be achieved while maintaining the integrity and desired character of the city’s neighborhoods.


The policies are the next component of the Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan. There are eleven elements included in the draft policies document:  Development & City Building, Transportation, Housing, Parks, Recreation, & Open Space, Economic Development, Environment & Natural Resources, Arts & Culture, Community Facilities & Services, Urban Design & Placemaking, Downtown Wilmington, and Historic Preservation. A joint work session with the plan Steering Committee, City Council, and the Planning Commission will be held in September to review the final draft of the document. Please take some time to review the draft.




Growth Strategies Maps and Report
The draft Growth Strategies Maps are the third component of the Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan. The maps provide a framework based on how the city exists today and ways in which it should grow and change in the future. The maps are structured around five main components: Mixed-use Centers, Areas of Opportunity, Corridors & Complete Streets, Transit that Works, and Open Spaces & Green Connections. All of these components will work in concert with each other to form a cohesive guide for future growth. The Growth Strategies Report is a companion document to the maps that explains the maps in greater detail. Both the maps and the report supplement the policies document.



Growth Factors Report 
The Growth Factors Report is a look at the things that helped Wilmington become what it is today, along with future growth projections, and an analysis of the built environment.









Foundations Report

The Foundations Report is a summary of the public input process and the feedback that was collected during the “active listening” phase of the comprehensive plan development.









Invest in Place Community Survey Results

Aging in Place Survey

In 2000, there were 11,637 Wilmingtonians aged 65 or older. In 2010, there were 14,879, an increase of 28%. This number is expected to grow, which raises concerns about healthcare, mobility, adequate housing, and whether seniors can have a high quality of life in Wilmington. A survey was conducted to determine what the community thinks about Wilmington’s ability and readiness to meet the needs of our older citizens.

Alternative Future Visions

Growth Strategy Results

College Outreach

On March 19th, the Create Wilmington team visited the UNCW campus and asked some current students to share their ideas on what would make Wilmington a better place to live. Here’s what they had to say: College Input

Hillcrest Community

On March 18th, the Create Wilmington team visited the Hillcrest community and asked residents to share their ideas on the future of their community and what would make Wilmington a better place to live. Here’s what they had to say: Hillcrest Input

Youth Outreach

On April 7th, the Create Wilmington team asked some students at Hoggard High School to share their input on Wilmington’s future with us. See what they had to say about what makes a good city and what would make Wilmington an even better place to live. High School Input

On March 24th, 6th graders at Roland Grise Middle School were asked to share their input on Wilmington’s future with us. See what they had to say about what makes a good city and what would make Wilmington an even better place to live. Middle School Input

Planning on Tap

The week of March 17th, seven meetings at bars and restaurants were hosted across the city, hoping to engage people where they were already gathering. One meeting was held on each of the plan’s themes. See the summary of the results from all meetings here:  Planning on Tap input

Business Leaders Input 

The Create Wilmington  team met with CEOs and business leaders from around the city to hear about their vision for the future of Wilmington. Want to know what they had to say? Business Leaders Roundtables

Neighborhood Planning Area Meetings Results

Beginning in October 2013, a series of Neighborhood Planning Area meetings were held throughout the city to gather input from residents on their desired future for their community. Results from these meetings can be reviewed below.

NPA Summary      Planning Areas     Top 20 Priorities     Create Wilmington Themes

Sunset Park-Woodlawn     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Old East Wilmington     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Winter Park     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Pine Valley     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Echo Farms-Rivers Edge     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Rogersville-Bradley Creek     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Carolina Place-Ardmore     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Masonboro     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Chestnut Heights-Princess Place     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Audubon-Devon Park     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Historic Downtown-Old Wilmington     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report
Seagate South     Neighborhoods Map     Public Input     Summary Report

Man on the Street

A series of “man on the street” surveys were conducted over the summer at various locations. These questions asked participants what they liked best and least about Wilmington and what was on their “wish list” for Wilmington. The results of these surveys can be found below.

Series 1 summary
Series 2 summary
Series 3 summary

Citywide Meetings

9-24-13 Community Meeting Results

The planning process kicked off on May 14th 2013 with a city-wide input meeting. Participants were asked to brainstorm both their desired future and their unwanted future for the city.  Once ideas were recorded, participants were given the opportunity to vote for their top six “desired future” elements and their top four “unwanted future” elements.  Results from that meeting can be found below.

5-14-13 Kickoff Meeting Results
5-14-13 Activity Maps

Where do you live?
What’s your favorite street?
What’s your least favorite street?
What are your favorite places?
Where do you like to play?
Where do you usually buy groceries?
What route do you take to work?
What is your childrens’ route to school?

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

3/26/15 Meeting DRAFT
2/17/15 Meeting
1/27/15 Meeting
12/19/14 Meeting
11/25/14 Meeting
10/28/14 Meeting
9/23/14 Meeting
8/26/14 Meeting
7/22/14 Meeting
6/24/14 Meeting
5/27/14 Meeting
4/22/14 Meeting
3/25/14 Meeting
2/25/14 Meeting
10/22/13 Meeting
8/27/13 Meeting
7/25/13 Meeting
6/25/13 Meeting
6/6/13 Meeting
5/14/13 Meeting
4/23/13 Meeting
3/19/13 Meeting