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2011-2022: An unprecedented platform for the city's continued success

Mayor Greg Fischer became Louisville’s 50th mayor in January 2011 and served three four-year terms. During his 12 years in office, he instituted a system of daily work, continuous improvement, innovation and partnerships that resulted in the city experiencing a renaissance in multiple areas:


  • $24 billion in capital investments announced, completed or underway.

  • Record decade for the city’s business expansion and attraction work, winning $12.7 billion in projects, 2011-22.

  • More than 80,000 new private-sector jobs.

  • More than 3,000 new businesses.

  • 13.1% increase in wage growth, adjusted for the cost of living; 26% increase in economic development incentivized wages; 33% increase in median household income, to $60,561.

  • 20,000 more Louisvillians now live above the poverty line; 20,000 more families worked their way into the middle class; child poverty decreased 27%.

  • Unemployment percentage dropped from 9.4% in 2011 to 3% in 2022.

  • Created an economic development strategy around growing industry sectors and best-in-world performance potential: Health and Aging innovation; Logistics; Advanced manufacturing; Food and beverage; Business services.

  • Dramatically expanded an arts-based cluster around film production and digital media, with the announced $80 million adaptive reuse of the Louisville Gardens.

  • Intentional work to bolster minority-owned businesses was central to the mission, including through METCO loans, The Well minority business incubator, and support of the Louisville Urban League Entrepreneurship Center, West End Opportunity Partnership, the Black Business Association, AMPED and Louisville Central Community Centers. Created the Equity in Procurement Task Force to build MFDBE capacity and wealth to take advantage of the10-year construction boom in the city and region.

  • In 2011, with support of the Brookings Institution, Louisville and Lexington launched Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM), an innovative partnership to create an advanced-manufacturing “super region;” increase exports with small and medium sized manufacturers – a five-year goal achieved in three years; and expand Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, or KY FAME, into a statewide manufacturing training program and “earn and learn” degree program.

  • Louisville Forward was recognized for eight years in a row as a Top U.S. Economic Development Organization by Site Selection Magazine.

Building Technology Talent

  • Louisville intentionally and significantly expanded the city’s tech talent pipeline through initiatives like Code Louisville and partnerships like Future of Work and Accelerate.

  • Added 3,500 new tech jobs 2011-22, 32% growth in tech business ecosystem; 800 participants promoted or received new jobs through Code Louisville.

  • CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report for 2022 included Louisville among 25 emerging markets for tech talent that could offer additional talent pools to employers looking to expand their reach.


  • Completed $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project after 40 years of talk and delay, and a $207 million renovation of the Kentucky International Convention Center.

  • Built a new 15,000+ seat soccer stadium, home to two national soccer teams.

  • Supported construction of geothermal fields at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, plus an estimated $400 million in facility improvements.

  • Completed the New Dixie Highway project; includes the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit system.

  • Reopened the historic Colonial Gardens as a center for entertainment and dining in  south Louisville.

  • Created conditions for low-cost, high-speed internet throughout the community, including through Louisville Fiber Internet Technology project (LFIT), a partnership with KentuckyWired, and partnering with high-speed internet providers and the federal government to sign people up for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which now has nearly 43,000 participants.

  • In 2015, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Louisville among its National Treasure cities, a designation focused on creating urban laboratories to test creative approaches to preservation issues and opportunities.

West Louisville

  • West Louisville saw an historic $1.4 billion+ of investment centered on Mayor Fischer’s anchor investment strategy.

  • Vision Russell, including the new Beecher Terrace, replacing a public housing complex built in 1939. The project, featuring nearly 450 affordable apartments, 175 market-rate apartments and two dozen single-family homes, began with a $30 million federal grant in 2016 that has grown to a $200 million+ neighborhood-wide redevelopment based on regenerating without displacing Russell residents.

  • Waterfront Park Phase 4 will add 22 acres to the current 85-acre public space, connecting downtown to west Louisville.

  • City provided land to Louisville Urban League and invested first $10 million to help the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center become reality at 30th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

  • A Broadway revitalization is underway, with the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus and planned Norton Healthcare hospital; Republic Bank Foundation YMCA; a new JCPS elementary school; realignment of 18th Street; the Gateway on Broadway senior affordable housing renovation; and $20.5 million in federal RAISE grants through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will fund two transformational projects: $15 million for the Reimagine 9th Street project and $5 million for Broadway All The Way.

  • $10 million to remediate and repurpose the old Rhodia brownfields in Park Hill.

  • Free outdoor Wi-Fi throughout the Russell neighborhood.

Affordable Housing

  • Unprecedented attention to addressing homelessness: safe outdoor space, the Hope Village; bridge housing; permanent supportive housing; and record $116 million investment in affordable housing since 2011.

  • Provided funding for 5,400 new affordable housing units and $51.5 million for down payment assistance and home repair programs.

  • Opened new Financial Empowerment Center, which offers professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service, including such wealth building tools as creating financial plans for home ownership.    

Repurposing Brownfields and Unsightly Land

  • Turned the unused, abandoned Big Four railroad bridge into a treasured walking bridge connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana.

  • Transformed abandoned oil tank/junkyard property into the Lynn Family soccer stadium district, earning the U.S. EPA’s 2022 Phoenix Award.

  • Expanding Waterfront Park between Ninth and 14th streets, building on the Park’s history of turning abandoned, underused spaces into shared greenspaces.

  • Supported transformation of an old city dump into the Waterfront Botanical Gardens in Butchertown.


  • Created Office for Globalization to bring the world to Louisville and take Louisville to the world. Programs include support for growth of our immigrant communities.

  • Saw a 49% increase in city’s foreign-born population, 2011-22.

  • 35% of the city’s population growth over the past several years has come from international residents from over 150 different countries, according to the US Census, making Louisville younger, more culturally dynamic and more entrepreneurial.

  • 154+ languages spoken in Louisville schools.

  • Second city in the U.S. to be named a “Certified Welcoming City” by Welcoming America.

  • Expanded the popular WorldFest into a four-day event.

  • Organized the Rally for American Values in 2017 to celebrate our country’s roots as a nation of immigrants and to denounce White House attempts to discriminate against Muslims.


  • Created Bourbonism, a globally unique hospitality experience, and opened a dozen bourbon experiences showcasing Louisville’s unique spirits and food scene.

  • Named by The New York Times as a Top 52 city in the world to visit in 2023.

  • Supported and celebrated growth and national/international recognition of the city’s chefs and restaurants.      

  • Expanded economic impact of The Kentucky Derby and Festival activities to $360 million.

  • Opened a beautifully renovated Kentucky International Convention Center in 2018 after a $207 million renovation.

  • Over 100 new hotels opened – more than two dozen added or planned downtown.

  • Attracting 16.4 million visitors every year, generating an estimated $3.4 billion economic impact. 2022 results exceeded pre-pandemic records:

  • Finished the 2021-22 fiscal year 14% above Louisville Tourism’s hotel room night goal, hosting 550 groups.

  • Posted hotel transient tax revenue of $3.2 million in May 2022 – a new monthly record for the city.

  • Partnered with community and owners to bring two professional soccer teams to Louisville: Louisville City, two-time USL champions, and Racing Louisville, 2021 International Women’s Cup champion.

  • Increased recognition of Louisville as a festival destination, including Forecastle, Bourbon and Beyond, Louder Than Life, Funk Fest, WorldFest, Iroquois Amphitheater shows and more. Named by the International Festivals & Events Association as a "best festival city" in 2015.

  • Supported expansions at the Louisville Zoo and Kentucky Science Center.

  • Partnered with the Louisville Parks Alliance to host the Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular and Winter Woods Spectacular at Iroquois Park, jointly attracting nearly 1 million visitors.

  • Hosted 2011 and 2018 Breeders’ Cup championships.

  • Hosted 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

  • Topgolf, an $18.6 million project, opened in 2022 in east Louisville.


  • Increased bachelor’s degree or higher educational attainment by 24% since 2011.

  • Championed Evolve 502 and its free college promise scholarship. Mayor Fischer ran for a third term primarily to see this life-changing initiative completed – cognizant that poverty is the main source of societal challenges, and a post-secondary degree or credential is the main disruptor of poverty.

  • Invested more than $50 million for Louisville Free Public Library construction, fulfilling the mayor’s early commitment under the Library Master Plan to provide a full-service library within five miles of 90% of Louisville residents:

  • Three new regional libraries (Southwest, South Central, Northeast), and new branches in Fairdale and in Middletown.

  • Renovated branches in St. Matthews, Iroquois, Bon Air, Shawnee, and Shively.

  • Directed American Rescue Plan funding to open libraries in Parkland and Fern Creek and significantly expand the Portland and downtown Main libraries.

  • Supported Metropolitan College, a joint initiative among the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community & Technical College, city and state governments, and charter employer UPS that provides eligible Kentucky residents access to a tuition-free post-secondary education and outstanding employment opportunities.

Jefferson County Public School Partnerships

  • Along with partners, over 12 years built support and skill development continuum from the Compassionate Schools Project to Academies of Louisville to SummerWorks to Evolve502.

  • Launched the world’s largest compassion-based school curriculum, the Compassionate Schools project, with 24 JCPS elementary schools in 2015. This partnership with the University of Virginia provides Louisville’s youngest schoolchildren with an opportunity to learn mindfulness exercises, de-escalation techniques, and emotional resilience. Results include increased students’ self-confidence, ability to focus, and compassion for others.

  • Supported Academies of Louisville, a JCPS, business, city and KentuckianaWorks      partnership that aligns local businesses’ workforce needs with high school education and internships.      

  • In partnership with KentuckianaWorks, founded SummerWorks, which the think-tank Results for America identified in 2022 as a national model for summer job programs. More than 40,000 young adults ages 16-21 hired by 240 Champion Employers since 2011.      

  • Louisville’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods is partnering with JCPS on violence-prevention, including Pivot to Peace, GVI, Ambassador Institute, the new Youth Engagement Services (YES!), as well as The Louisville Youth Network, our Social Justice Youth Development partnership – and the Mayor’s Youth Implementation Team.


  • Acted swiftly and calmly to address the challenges resulting from the tragic death of Breonna Taylor in 2020 and protests for racial justice in Louisville and 2000+ cities across the country.

  • Implemented Breonna’s Law, which bans no-knock warrants and expands requirements for officers’ use of body cameras. Strengthened use-of-force policies, rules on use of tear gas, and policy regarding an officer’s duty to intervene. Revised search warrant and currency seizure policies.

  • Ordered the independent Hillard Heintze audit of LMPD and participated fully in the DOJ investigation of LMPD. (A separate criminal DOJ investigation resulted in indictment of four officers involved in the Breonna Taylor case.)

  • Moved expeditiously to settle civil suit with Breonna Taylor’s family, including a financial payment and commitments to police reform.

  • Revised the police contract in 2022 to increase officer pay by 21%, and addressed oversight, enhanced supervision, increased technology investments and officer wellness programs to help build community trust.    

  • To increase police-community legitimacy, committed to a police department culture built on a guardian mindset, fueled by critical leadership training with command staff; and department-wide training on the history of policing through the Truth and Transformation initiative.

  • Established Civilian Review and Accountability Board and Office of Inspector General.

  • Hired new LMPD chief and deputy chief, as well as a Diversity and Inclusion Manager.      Created Accountability and Improvement Bureau, led by a newly formed Deputy Chief position. Included members of the protest community in reform development.

  • Approved and funded a deflection program to redirect appropriate 911 calls to a non-police response focused on problem-solving, de-escalation and referral.

  • Implemented Early Intervention System to alert police supervisors to sudden behavioral changes in officers or other factors, such as use of force, sick leave usage and vehicle accidents. Also implemented mandatory, post-critical incident officer drug testing.

  • Launched a new Louisville Metro Police Activities League (PAL) to build youth and police relations and a clergy de-escalation team to respond to scenes of community trauma and serve as a resource for those impacted by tragedy.

  • Emphasized public safety as a community responsibility by implementing significant initiatives outside of LMPD as part of our six-pillar, whole-of-government approach to reimagining public safety: Community Mobilization, Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement, Organizational Change, and Re-entry.

  • Fully funded the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, for community violence intervention; crisis response to gun violence; restorative justice; trauma resilient communities; ambassador institute; office for youth development.         

  • To address the impact of loosened state gun laws and the increase in gun violence starting in 2020, implemented the Group Violence Intervention initiative, which identifies those most at risk to gun violence and emphasizes accountability for violent crime while offering alternatives to a life of violence.

  • Installed historical markers to commemorate the 2020 racial justice protests and the injustices against the Black Six in 1968.

  • Expanded hours and programming at community centers to keep youth engaged. In partnership with KentuckianaWorks, opened The Spot to offer a variety of career and education services to those age 18-24.


  • Named compassion as a core city value in 2011, and normalized discussions around racial injustice and equity.

  • Five-time winner of the International Charter for Compassion’s Model City of Compassion Award; mentored more than 40 other communities interested in joining the Compassionate City movement.

  • Championed the creation of the United States Conference of Mayors Center for Compassionate and Equitable Cities.

  • 1.3 million acts of compassion through the annual Give A Day service initiative.

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Louisville in 2013; Mayor Fischer led delegations of mayors to visit with the Dalai Lama at his home in India in 2018 and 2022, and in 2021, led a virtual conversation between the Dalai Lama and mayors from across the world.

  • Created the Office for Veterans; restarted Veterans Day Parade, which grew to Week of Valor; and in 2015, officially reached functional zero for homeless veterans. New state-of-the-art Louisville VA Medical Center being built; will serve 150,000+ veterans from 35 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

  • Created Office of Equity in 2016 to ensure that LMG policies and practices align with our commitment to improving racial equity in the city.

  • Launched Lean Into Louisville in 2019 after the hate-fueled tragedy in Charlottesville , Virginia to broaden community understanding of the roots of discrimination and hatred; created an interactive story map/community conversation on redlining.

  • Began taking down Confederate statues in 2016, with removal of a city-owned memorial on the University of Louisville campus. In 2018, removed Prentice and Castleman statues.

  • Launched an equity-focused review of city’s Land Development Code.

  • In 2020, Mayor Fischer declared racism a public health crisis and instituted a racial equity plan focused on: Public safety; Children/families; Black employment; Black wealth; Housing/neighborhood investment; Health; Voting.

  • Launched Truth & Transformation Initiative, partnership with the National Network for Safe Communities, to improve the relationship between the police and residents, beginning with an acknowledgement that Black populations in America and our community have been historically harmed at the hands of law enforcement. 

  • For 8 straight years, received a perfect 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for LGBTQ inclusivity. LMG now extends benefits to employees’ domestic partners. First city in Kentucky to issue a same-sex marriage license after 2015 Supreme Court decision.

  • Louisville Metro Animal Services established itself as a no-kill shelter, and all its animal-related services were located on one best-in-class campus with a total investment of $12 million.    

Supporting Women

  • Mayor championed policy changes and programs that directly improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable women in our community – ranging from eviction prevention to education to decreasing maternal and child morbidity through the Healthy Babies Louisville initiative to addressing diaper needs.

  • In 2021, signed an ordinance providing paid parental leave for LMG employees welcoming a child by birth or adoption, and in 2022, signed an ordinance providing paid leave for LMG employees who are victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

  • Elevated and relocated the Office for Women to reside within the city’s Office of Equity, to streamline and amplify efforts to seek equity across our community.

Growing Muhammad Ali's Legacy

  • Curated Louisville native Muhammad Ali’s homegoing in 2016. Over one billion people worldwide watched the Champ’s memorial service in Louisville.  The city later produced the “City of Ali” documentary to commemorate the week of celebration.

  • Renamed the airport to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.

  • Launched U.S. Postal Service “Stamp for the Champ” initiative.

  • Completed pedway joining the Muhammad Ali Center with the Belvedere.

  • Installed historical markers related to Ali’s life in Louisville.


  • Adopted a health-in-all-policies approach to decision-making. Earned the prestigious Culture of Health Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2016.

  • In 2020 and 2021, earned the esteemed gold medal from CityHealth for public health policies that improve people’s health.

  • CDC described city response to Hepatitis A in 2018 as “gold standard.”

  • Like cities across the world, COVID-19 had a devastating impact on Louisville’s health and well-being, taking more than 2,500 lives and for months altering the way we lived, worked, shopped, traveled and gathered in prayer. Yet Louisville’s swift, equity-led, intentional response helped prevent many deaths and hospitalizations and resulted in Louisville being one of the few cities in the world to not see a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among minority communities. Our LouVax mass vaccination site was a model for the nation, with more than 2,500 volunteers putting in 15,196 volunteer hours to deliver 110,000 vaccinations.

  • Normalized community discussions around the challenges of mental health and addiction and acted on those challenges through a harm-reduction lens, including programs within the Department of Corrections.    

COVID Pandemic Federal Funding

  • Received more than $650 million through CARES Act, American Rescue Plan Act, and other relief funds since 2020 to address pandemic’s health and economic impacts.

  • Targeted $133.8 million of CARES ACT funds largely at pandemic-related health and economic challenges. Ranked No. 1 in the nation for getting eviction prevention funds out the door by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

  • Priorities for $388 million of ARP funds were guided by the city’s Build Back Better Together initiative, the Mayor’s Advancing Racial Equity plan, and the community Path Forward plan: resources to continue tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, public safety, affordable housing, homeless initiatives, food and utility instability programs, workforce development, recognition of public employees, libraries, childcare and early learning, and parks, pools and public health.


  • Established AIR Louisville, using smart-connected inhalers to help improve the challenge of asthma in the community.

  • Commissioned city’s first-ever sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville, as a framework to shape progress toward its climate change goals:

  • 100% renewable electricity for LMG Metro operations by 2030.

  • 100% clean energy for Louisville Metro operations by 2035.

  • 100% clean energy and 100% reduction in GHG emissions community-wide by 2040.

  • In 2021 alone, LMG reduced its energy consumption by 15%, saving over $700,000 and avoiding 2,200 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions.

  • In 2021, Louisville joined the Cities Race to Zero effort, a collection of cities around the world committed to setting science-based targets and implementing inclusive and resilient climate action ahead of and beyond the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021.

  • In 2016, Mayor Fischer signed the Compact of Mayors, now known as the Global Covenant of Mayors, reaffirming Louisville’s commitment to reducing citywide contributions to climate change while preparing for the impacts of rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns.

  • Completed the Solarize initiative – the largest solar project in the city’s history and 3rd largest solarize campaign in America; 54% of the installations were for low to moderate income families.

  • The Mayor’s Energy Star Building Challenge was successfully completed with 25 newly certified Energy Star commercial buildings in the community. In 2022, the EPA ranked Louisville a Top Midsize City for most Energy Star certified buildings. Five Louisville Metro Government buildings have been certified through LEED, and two buildings have received ENERGY STAR Certification.

  • The Louisville area is now meeting or surpassing all National Ambient Air Quality Standards set by EPA through the Clean Air Act, according to data from the city’s air monitoring network. In the last five years, Louisville has attained updated standards for sulfur dioxide, fine particle pollution, and has now met and applied to EPA for official attainment of the standard for ground-level ozone pollution.

  • The Rockefeller Foundation in 2016 chose Louisville for its 100 Resilient Cities initiative, designed to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

  • New parks improvements spanning the community: Shawnee Park’s expanded Dirt Bowl courts and new boat ramp, increased services at Jefferson Memorial Forest, re-opening of the Iroquois Park Overlook, professional cricket pitch at Hays Kennedy Park, seven soccer and futsal fields, along with 26 new playgrounds, with a focus on making all new installations accessible to all. Increased Louisville Loop miles by 50 percent, to a total of more than 50 miles.

  • Helped create Trees Louisville; instead of a projected steady decline in tree canopy, it has increased by 1%.

  • Launched Clean Collaborative to coordinate/expand work to boost city cleanliness.

  • Unveiled 20-year multimodal plan, MOVE Louisville in 2016; city has since improved pedestrian and bicycle accommodations throughout the city and invested in Complete Street projects on main corridors, including the Dixie Highway Bus Rapid Transit System.

  • Allocated $6 million to expand UofL Envirome Institute Healthy Building Research Complex, Micro Forest and Parkscape downtown.

  • Partnered with the Green Heart Project and the Nature Conservancy on a six-year urban laboratory investigation to measure the power of greenery as a public health improvement strategy in Louisville neighborhoods.


  • Mayor Fischer was elected by the mayors of America as President of the United States Conference of Mayors in 2020, one of the most difficult times for cities in recent history.

  • In 2016, America’s mayors, through a Politico survey, identified Mayor Fischer as the most innovative mayor in America.    

  • In 2013, the Mayor was named as one of the Public Officials of the year by Governing Magazine.

  • Louisville is one of only two cities to ever achieve What Works Cities' top-level Platinum Certification for its use of data to guide daily work. Other transparency initiatives include the creation of an Open Data portal that logged more than 1 million page views in the last six years, and the LouieStat performance improvement program, which evaluates departments' goals and shares progress with residents.

  • Louisville received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada (GFOA) nine years in a row and earned high bond ratings from each of the nationally recognized credit rating agencies. 

  • Mayor managed the financial impact of the Great Recession early in his first term, as well as state-obligated pension expenses mid-term – delivering quality government services with 1200 fewer employees.

  • Louisville Metro Government placed first in the nation in the Center for Digital Government’s Government Experience Awards in 2022.

  • Created the One Water Partnership, joining areas of the Louisville Water Co. and MSD to produce benefits, savings and revenue of over $50 million.

  • Mayor received the U.S. Water Prize for Outstanding Public Official in 2018 and the Public Officials Award from Water Environment Federation in 2022.

  • Louisville Water Company’s Riverbank Filtration project earned an Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award in 2011 from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

  • MSD won the 2019 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for embracing technology to help maintain safe, clean waterways.

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