An historic railroad town, in the mid-1800s Hudson, MI developed a stable base of industrial businesses that would help it thrive for the next century and a half. However, with the decline of manufacturing and industry, in recent years Hudson began to struggle against a declining tax base and divestment.
The City hired McKenna to prepare a new master plan to invigorate community development activities. The Master Plan focused on retaining the City’s tax base through an approached based on “quality of place.” Two notable elements of this “quality of place” approach included reinvigorating the downtown and developing a city-wide non-motorized pathway system.
Though the City’s prominent historic downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, over recent decades many of the historic downtown structures were altered, diminishing the character and quality of the downtown core. The master plan offered specific design and policy recommendations to restore the downtown to its traditional character. The Master Plan also focused on developing a non-motorized pathway system to connect City residents to major regional assets such as the Lake Hudson State Recreation Area.
The master plan provided Hudson with the tools to invigorate its downtown core and re-establish "quality of place" to benefit existing residents, attract new ones, and help Hudson reclaim its place as one of Michigan’s pre-eminent small towns.