BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A community launch event is set to take place in Gadsden on Tuesday to kick off their new comprehensive plan for the city.

City leaders are calling this initiative ‘GROW Gadsden’ with the goal of seeing continuous growth in their city throughout this process.

The mayor’s chief of staff, Brett Johnson, said they are hoping to reverse the trend of a steady population decline they’ve seen for several decades.

Coming on the heels of Mayor Craig Ford’s recent election, this will be the city’s first fresh comprehensive plan in over 50 years.

City leaders said they plan to embrace their natural resources within the city like the Coosa River, downtown area and regional airport for tourism development.

Some involved call this a historical event that will kick off what will guide Gadsden for many decades to come.

“So, this is kind of the genesis point so to speak where we can plan accordingly to accommodate for growth, to incentivize growth and to, you know, make Gadsden a destination for families, for businesses, for industries, and somewhere you want to live and be proud to live,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the success of this comprehensive plan depends on the volume of feedback and input received from community members.

He said today’s launch event will be the first of many public meetings to promote community involvement. They want community members to be able to cast their vision.

Johnson said input from stakeholders cannot be overstated and that public hearings will help to make sure no one is missed.

Mayor Ford said they’re preparing for the growth to come in several different ways through infrastructure, highways, roads, and their downtown area.

Tonight’s public kick off will take place at The Venue at Coosa Landing at 6p.m.