Though skylines are often the most recognizable feature of notable American cities, the activity taking place on the ground is where we find the human-to-human connections that make up the true heart of a community. Destination Medical Center – together with community leaders, business owners, engaged citizens, and the City of Rochester – is strategically exploring the best ways to nurture life and activity at street level.
“Discovery Walk” is the public realm that runs along four blocks of 2nd Avenue Southwest (from the Heart of the City at 2nd Street to Soldiers Field Park at 6th Street). The plan is to transform the underused and uninviting two-lane street into a tree-lined, multi-use linear parkway.
Efficient downtown transportation is essential to the success of the DMC Development Plan, and local residents are being asked to help drive the future of this important component.
The city of Rochester is conducting four integrated transit studies to support and advance DMC’s plan. On January 24, study consultants will host the first of four public conversations to share their findings and listen to the thoughts of attendees on transportation in downtown.
Richard Freese is the director of the city’s Public Works Department and feels that Rochester is a unique city requiring a unique approach to travel demand management. “Since the invention of the automobile, cities around the world have tried unsuccessfully to build their way out of traffic congestion by building more or wider roads,” Freese says.
Legendary urban design writer and thinker Jane Jacobs once wrote that “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
With those words in mind, the Destination Medical Center, the Rochester Downtown Alliance and the Rochester Art Center are hosting a Community Conversation About Prototyping tomorrow evening at the Rochester Art Center.The event is free and open to the public, and it is meant to educate community members on experiences from prototyping festivals in California that were organized as a way to reimagine urban spaces in San Francisco and Oakland. Ultimately, we’re hoping the forum will spark some creative ideas about how Rochester’s urban landscape can promote health and well-being prior to our own prototyping festival in September. The event will feature Our City co-founders and prototyping festival organizers Jake Levitas and Ray Boyle.