Prototyping is not a new concept for designers. They regularly create early representations of an idea with intentions of testing a theory or response, then adapting the design into a bigger and better version of the original.
The same can be said when introducing prototyping into the public realm.
Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) recently invited local innovators to help activate the Peace Plaza in Heart of the City by installing their own prototypes in the space.
You might have been caught by surprise if you walked by the Peace Plaza on a brisk October evening and saw more than 200 people gathered together sharing a family-style meal outside. But that’s exactly what happened on October 17 during the inaugural Destination Medical Center (DMC) Annual Meeting, where the community came together to celebrate the impact of the first five years of the 20-year DMC initiative.
Destination Medical Center (DMC) and the Heart of the City design team collaborated with local prototypers to test out design concepts for Heart of the City Phase 1 and create an engaging public realm. The design team includes Minneapolis-based landscape architects Coen+Partners in collaboration with RSP Architects, El Dorado, Latent Design, Kimley-Horn Associates, and Fluidity.
The prototypers were selected based on work presented at the 2016 Rochester Prototyping Festival. The design team felt these prototypes resonated with Heart of the City public realm work and invited the prototypers to test out a 2.0 version of their original concepts. The installations will be on display in Peace Plaza through mid-November.
Autonomous vehicles are at the forefront of the transportation and mobility conversations, including in Rochester, where this technology has been considered by many as a potential addition to public transportation as part of the Destination Medical Center and City of Rochester’s planning efforts.
The Easy Mile 12-passenger autonomous vehicle is coming to downtown Rochester on Thursday, March 22 for a public demonstration at Peace Plaza. The public is invited to take a test ride between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
At the heart of every destination city is a vibrant downtown, where signature spaces, diverse programming, and enticing events encourage residents and visitors to linger a little longer.
In downtown Rochester, the bold vision for the true Heart of the City is coming to life as designers unveil a new future for the Destination Medical Center (DMC) sub-district where residents and visitors come together to celebrate life, community, health, and wellness 365 days a year.
From Discover and Dream to Design and Do
The Heart of the City Design Team recently unveiled plans for the much-anticipated core of downtown. Their forward-thinking vision for this integral part of the DMC district was received with excitement and anticipation by the DMC Corporation Board of Directors, the Rochester City Council, and the community at-large as they learned of the new plans for the sub-district.
With all the activity taking place in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) District, the recent DMC Corporation Board of Directors meeting agenda was a full one and included updates on DMC’s top development priorities, such as Discovery Square and Heart of the City.
At the end of 2016, private investment in the DMC district surpassed $200 million, the threshold required to trigger the release of State dollars to support Rochester’s infrastructure needs. It was reported at the meeting that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) certified the report and has authorized the release of $2.6 million of the state money for local infrastructure improvements by September.
“This is the reason we’ve been doing this for the past several years,” says DMCC board vice-chair R.T. Rybak. “I encourage the staff to take time to celebrate this achievement.”
Discovery Square Developments
One of six DMC sub-districts, Discovery Square will be a live-work environment organized around attracting and retaining the best and brightest to our community. While there is progress taking place in all of six sub-districts, Discovery Square is a board-identified priority for DMC, as are Heart of the City and transportation.
From walking and biking in the summer to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, people are looking for fun ways to get fit, stay healthy, and – as a bonus – leave their cars parked in the garage.
The future City Loop is an ideal way to safely connect residents, employees, visitors, patients, and companions to places and spaces throughout the DMC District all year long.
When you utter the words “40 below” in Minnesota, minds tend to stray toward cold winter nights and non-functional cars. But, as development and progress in and around the DMC District increase, Rochester’s newest young professionals group is changing that perception.
Building the next generation of leaders
While workforce needs for the community are growing across all industries, development related to DMC is driving an even greater demand for talent in the building industry.