Placemaking study | City of Reno

In September 2021, the Reno City Council approved funding for a study to provide a cohesive regional vision for the future of Virginia Street and downtown Reno.

People choose to live, work and play in the city of Reno for many reasons. The purpose of the Placemaking Study is to create a vision for a downtown corridor where residents and visitors want to spend their time. Through this process, we can work together to make Virginia Street an everyday place for everyone.

After a comprehensive research process including a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, the City of Reno selected Gehl to oversee and facilitate the Placemaking Study based on its human-centered research approach and digital data to document the experience of place.

The success of the Placemaking Study relies on feedback and feedback from the community and stakeholders. The city wants to understand the goals, aspirations and challenges the community sees for Virginia Street and how it envisions the future of downtown.

Community engagement will be divided into two phases:

Phase 1: Collecting and analyzing information

During Phase 1, residents are asked to complete an online survey about how they experience Virginia Street today. From these survey results, Gehl will develop a preliminary vision and set of goals that will be used for Phase 2.

Phase 2: Visualization

During Phase 2, residents will be invited to provide feedback (virtually or in person) regarding the vision and goals drafted for the future of Virginia Street.

The Virginia Street Placemaking study process will take approximately 6 months. Upon completion of the study, Gehl will provide a design narrative and an implementation, implementation, and financing plan for the preferred conceptual street design and programming options. Then the plan will be presented to the Reno City Council for review and approval.


  • May 2022: Configuration and launch of the project
  • June-August: information gathering and analysis
  • August-September: Vision
  • October-December: Street Design & Programming Concept Alternatives
  • December: implementation and funding plan

Timeline showing 8 months of 2022 for the Space Creation Study from project setup and launch in May to implementation and funding plan in December

How to get involved

  • Complete the “Future of Virginia Street” survey
  • Share the survey with your community
  • When submitting the survey, ask to be registered for updates and future meeting dates
  • Participate in an online engagement meeting


Upon completion of the Placemaking Study, Gehl will provide a conceptual design and proposed implementation plan for the Virginia Street Town Center. Members of Council, the City Manager’s Office, the RTC and the community will work together to assess and execute a phased approach to implementation.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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