CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The City Of Charleston received The Vision of Tomorrow Award for the Goodwin Administration’s work to transform Slack Plaza, the “City Center,” to serve as a passive park, connect the downtown area, and offer a new venue to showcase arts and culture.

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said creating a true City Center has been a top goal since she took office in 2019. As plans went on, Charleston-area developers and business owners invested and planned for the city’s first Business Improvement District (BID). Projects included programming, public safety, beautification and economic development.

“It is an exciting time for Charleston,” Mayor Goodwin said. “But creating City Center was only part of the process. The key to ensuring the space’s success and bringing the vision to life – programming. We again, brought together the community – the BID, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Charleston Creativity Connections, our Parks and Recreation Team, local musicians, and local artists – to plan programming for a wide variety of audiences.”

In addition to the investments made, money is pouring into the area from events at City Center, including the 2022 Sternwheel Regatta, which made a $31.5 million economic impact. Rainbow Pride of West Virginia’s Pride Parade and Festival, the largest pride festival in the state, also took place at City Center.

The Vision of Tomorrow Award honors cities that are “exceptionally forward thinking and visionary.” The award recipient is chosen by the West Virginia Municipal League Voting Committee.