Placemaking Study | City of Reno

In September of 2021, the Reno City Council approved funding to conduct 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 goal of the placemaking study is to create a vision for a downtown corridor where locals 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 search process including a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, the City of Reno selected Gehl to oversee and facilitate the placemaking study based on their approach to human-centered research and digital data to document the experience of place.

The success of the placemaking study relies on community and stakeholder input and feedback. The City wants to understand the goals, aspirations, and challenges the community sees for Virginia Street and how they envision the future of Downtown. 


Community engagement will be broken into two phases:

Phase 1: Information Gathering and Analysis 

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

Phase 2: Visioning

In Phase 2, residents will be asked to provide input (virtually or in-person) regarding the drafted vision and goals for the future of Virginia Street. 

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


  • May 2022: Project Setup & Kickoff
  • June-August: Information Gathering & Analysis
  • August-September: Visioning
  • October-December: Street Design & Programming Concept Alternatives
  • December: Implementation & Financing Plan

Timeline showing 8 months of 2022 for placemaking study from project setup and kick off in May to Implementation and Financing Plan in December

How to get involved

  • Fill out “The Future of Virginia Street” Survey
  • Share the survey with your community
  • When submitting the survey, request to be signed up for updates and future meeting dates
  • Participate in an online engagement meeting


Upon completion of the Placemaking Study, Gehl will provide a concept design and proposed  implementation plan for Downtown Virginia Street. Councilmembers, the City Manager’s Office, RTC, and the community will work together to evaluate and execute a phased approach to implementation. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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