Strong Downtowns is about making an impact in communities all across Southwest Louisiana by focusing on the streets and spaces that inspire people to walk and gather. This human-scaled infrastructure helps support small businesses, community togetherness, and the idea of a Downtown hub that is unique to the scale and needs of each community in SWLA. The goal is to take the principles of walkable streets and fun, engaging festival parks and have them available as a best practices guide that is refined as each strong Downtown project is implemented. This also means streets that are not only walkable and engaging but also use principles of good storm water management and green infrastructure that can help support the area in case of flooding. While it starts with streets and parks, the goal is for these investments to spark infill development for housing, businesses, and services, which will continue to support the strengthening of Downtowns.
For years, the Lake Charles and Calcasieu River waterfronts have been discussed as opportunities for economic development and improving quality of life, but they remain underutilized. With the excitement around Port Wonder, Crying Eagle Brewery, Paul’s Rib Shack, Lake Area Adventures, and the new Calcasieu River Bridge, now is the time to invest. A new, pedestrian-friendly waterfront edge will attract new restaurants, shops, and recreation.
Cameron Parish is pursuing development along its bayous, lakes, and coastline that will enhance the quality of life and eco-nomic development. Waterfront development in Calcasieu Parish will also encourage and lay the groundwork for increasing ecotourism in Cameron by creating a gateway to water-based recreation and transportation for the region.