Patrick Presents: Two community conversations about placemaking

Seeb0813-mug-200x200Patrick Seeb, DMC’s Director of Economic Development and Placemaking, lead two community conversations about placemaking and entrepreneurial efforts recently.

Placemaking is described as “the multi-faceted approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces.” Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.

Conversation #1: Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 Luncheon

FullSizeRenderThe first event, held Tuesday, November 3, was one of five luncheons offered as a part of Rochester’s Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015. The nearly 30 attendees at the event included a vast cross-section of people interested in entrepreneurship in Rochester, from solopreneurs (those who run their business single-handedly) to multipreneurs (those running several entrepreneurial ventures simultaneously), from government officials to those working in large for- and non-profit organizations.

While attendees drove the selection of the specific topics that were discussed, Patrick facilitated and helped to keep the focus on how DMC can help to contribute to an entrepreneurship culture in Rochester. “Cities that are prepared and welcoming are the cities that will succeed in the 21st century,” Patrick stated. “We need to ensure that DMC is doing all it can to contribute to this entrepreneurial environment.”

A few topics included:

  • The paradox that seems to exist in Rochester between a recognized need for entrepreneurial efforts and a collective tendency toward risk-aversion;
  • How contingency planning and the ability to remain nimble (or “pivot” as attendees called it) reduces the risk of failure for an organization – entrepreneurial or not;
  • Why entrepreneurs need to be comfortable with “failing,” how failure can help you grow, and how other entrepreneurs can and will support each other when failures occur; and
  • How we can all learn from cities like Kansas City and Boulder who have successfully created and maintained positive public-private partnerships, much like DMC is doing in Rochester.

Conversation #2: Rochester Art Center’s Art & Business Breakfast

The second event was held Wednesday, November 4, and was the third Arts & Business Breakfast hosted by the Rochester Art Center.

Over 90 people gathered to listen to Patrick share his thoughts about the vital relationship between placemaking and entrepreneurial approaches to economic development. “There is great value in bringing FullSizeRender (1)artists together with the many others involved in city planning,” said Patrick. “They bring a unique perspective in helping to solve the important challenges involved in placemaking and community building.”

While the concept of placemaking can seem more qualitative than quantitative, Patrick’s presentation “Placemaking: By the Numbers” provided facts and figures about the need for a collaborative approach to creating inviting and useful spaces in our communities.

Here are some numbers to consider:

80,000/50%/5: At Boeing alone, 80,000 employees (or 50% of its workforce) will be retirement eligible in five years.

75,000,000/75%: Of the 75M millennials in America, 75% of them report wanting to live in urban environments that are vibrant, energetic, and creative.

55%: The percentage of Rochester citizens who would prefer a smaller home within walking or biking distance to work versus a large home with a longer commute.

These are just a few of the statistics that support a growing need for strategic placemaking in our community as DMC works to ensure the highest quality experience for residents, patients, and visitors.

Patrick’s experience working at the intersection of health and wellness and the community building as a visionary for the city of St. Paul makes him the ideal person to help lead placemaking efforts for DMC in Rochester.