The Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Tuesday announced that it has received $10,000 from the Simmons First Foundation to compile a community economic development profile for Pine Bluff.
The foundation is leading the Go Forward Pine Bluff initiative, which aims to implement a blueprint that will address the city's systemic problems and challenges and focus on economic development, education, government and infrastructure and quality of life.
Pine Bluff voters also approved a tax last month to support the initiative.
The AEDI will be working with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center to develop a master plan for downtown and bordering neighborhoods. The plan will include baseline drawings of existing conditions, master street and landscape plans, downtown development plans and a final report, along with visualizations.
The institute will also host town hall meetings to gain feedback from citizens.
According to the release, challenges facing Pine Bluff include a population drop, high unemployment rates and deterioration of residential and commercial buildings.