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Jacksonville Emerald Trail

Transportation Authority
Jacksonville, FL
February 2022
July 2022
Service areas

Public Policy Analysis


Stakeholder Outreach + Engagement Strategy

Atlanta has the Beltline. Chicago has the 606. New York City has
the High Line. The City of Jacksonville, Florida, will soon have the
Emerald Trail – approximately 30 miles of recreational trails that will
connect 14 historic neighborhoods to economic opportunities, high
quality green space, and exciting outdoor amenities that will revitalize
economic development and social connections between Downtown
Jacksonville and its diverse, outlying neighborhoods. In 2021, the City
Council selected the Jacksonville Transit Authority (JTA) to spearhead
the Emerald Trail’s development in partnership with Groundwork
Jacksonville, a local non-profit. Now, JTA has the exciting yet complex
task of ensuring that the Emerald Trail facilitates adaptive reuse,

inclusive economic growth, community collaboration, and long-
term project stewardship. To support these goals, JTA hired Karp Strategies to establish dialogue among critical stakeholders, develop
robust working relationships, and advance the project towards
memorandums of understanding (MOUs).

Karp Strategies strategized for and facilitated a series of partnering
sessions designed to build trust and consensus, communicate
project opportunities and constraints, and ultimately lead to MOUs
with key parties. The team researched procurement, funding, and
capital project processes to support JTA and Groundwork in the
Emerald Trail’s design and construction. In addition, Karp Strategies
executed interviews with 20 key local stakeholders, conducted case
study research of five similar adaptive reuse projects across the U.S.,
and coordinated an expert panel of representatives from the Atlanta
Beltline, Chicago 606, and Philadelphia Rail Park. These efforts have
positioned the Emerald Trail project to successfully fulfill its promise
to create lasting and inclusive benefits for Jacksonville’s residents
and visitors.

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