Comprehensive Plan

The Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan was developed based on two years of public input, data analysis, meetings with stakeholders and subject matter experts, and observation of best practices for urban development. It sets the general direction for future growth and redevelopment across the city for the next 25 years by addressing various topics, including the environment, economy, housing, land use, transportation, and community services.

It helps identify and recommend physical improvements such as streets, bicycle paths, parks, sidewalks, and other public facilities, and serves as a guide for decision makers regarding land use, real estate development, capital investments, and placemaking endeavors. It also provides the foundation for the modernization of the city's land development regulations.

The interactive maps below are the Growth Strategies Map series from the Comprehensive Plan.

Plan Elements

The Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan is a series of documents that make up the complete “box set.” The five components are: Growth Factors Report, Foundations Report, Policies, Growth Strategies Maps, and Growth Strategies Report. All five pieces work together to help Wilmington realize appropriate change, growth, and conservation. The plan was adopted by City Council on March 1, 2016 with an effective date of May 1, 2016.


The Overview(PDF, 2MB) is a stand alone booklet that summarizes the key plan elements, key points and plan themes found throughout the five parts of the plan. The Overview also provides suggestions on how to use the Plan.

Growth Factors Report

The Growth Factors Report(PDF, 33MB) is a snapshot of what Wilmington looks like today and tells the story of how the city has evolved over time. It provides the context, or “starting point,” from which the community has moved forward to create a shared vision for the future.

Foundations Report

The Foundations Report(PDF, 9MB) serves as a guide to the community input received from residents, students, professionals, and organizations throughout the listening phase of the plan. This helps form the basis of the Policies and Growth Strategies Maps.


Policies(PDF, 18MB) are the core document of the plan. They are preferred practices and priorities surrounding physical development, quality of life, and livability of the city. The intent of these policies is to guide and complement the work of all city departments and actions of the City Council and the city's development partners.

Growth Strategies Maps

The Growth Strategies Maps(PDF, 11MB) depict preferred growth patterns and display how future development could affect the city in unique ways. Five individual maps describe different features and combine to form a single composite growth map. These are intended to provide a framework for future growth rather than a parcel-specific “future land use” map.

Growth Strategies Report

The Growth Strategies Report(PDF, 11MB) works with the Growth Strategies Maps to describe how future development could affect the city in unique ways. A series of bold visions are presented throughout the report that emerged from the community input process and are worthy of consideration for future growth.