From 2011 to 2013, the Altoona City Planning Commission prepared this comprehensive plan with the help of their consultant, Environmental Planning and Design of Pittsburgh. The non-binding vision, goals and objectives of the plan are based on the opinions expressed by City residents and business owners during an extensive public outreach campaign. This campaign included two separate surveys of nearly 650 City residents, surveys of Penn State Altoona's faculty and students, five neighborhood meetings, two planning charettes and a dozen focus groups involving the City's business community, developers, builders, educators, faith communities, social clubs, authorities and commissions. Thus, the vision, goals and objectives of this plan reflect the will and priorities of the City's residents, business owners and stakeholders. They are also built on an extensive analysis of socioeconomic data and projections.
This plan, Positively Altoona, was adopted by Altoona City Council on May 22, 2013. On October 22, 2013, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association awarded Positively Altoona the Daniel Burnham Award for the top comprehensive plan produced in the Commonwealth in 2013.
Ahead of the Curve is proposed to be an addition to Positively Altoona that focuses on improving Downtown Altoona. It was mandated as part of the City's Act 47 Plan, and is currently being implemented through City policies and the Greater Altoona Economic Development Corporation's operational plan. Ahead of the Curve was prepared with the involvement of Downtown residents, property owners, business owners, developers, bankers, and realtors. UPMC Altoona, Penn State Altoona, the Altoona Area School District and other major Downtown employers heavily contributed ideas.