Cities across the country are exploring new and improved ways to design the streets and corridors that connect us to the places we live, work, and play. In downtown Rochester, DMC is looking at options to provide practical, safe, and appealing ways for everyone to move between the six sub-districts.
Most recently, designers for DMC have been focusing on the future of a four-block segment of Second Avenue SW. The corridor – which extends south from Heart of the City through Discovery Square and down to Soldiers Field – has been dubbed “Discovery Walk.”
“Connecting existing and future assets of downtown is essential,” says Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for the initiative’s Economic Development Agency. “Discovery Walk will be an integral piece of the greater plan for the DMC District.”
Discovery Walk is among several downtown streets to be redesigned as part of the DMC initiative.
Cities at any stage of development can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with and learning from other communities.
For the second year in a row, more than 40 leaders from organizations in and around Rochester traveled to the Twin Cities for a DMC-organized site visit. This year’s trip focused on topics of transportation and public spaces and included discussions and presentations from key experts in those fields. Attendees included staff from the DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) staff, the City of Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Coen+Partners, RSP Architects, the University of Minnesota, the Rochester International Airport, and other local organizations.
The process began by assembling and analyzing existing and new data. This served as the foundation for a recent “Design Sprint,” which involved three teams of stakeholders who were asked to explore and develop concepts to address design issues, such as transportation, parking, commercial districts, and neighborhood connections. Each team took on a different point of view for design considerations. One group took on the perspective of patients, visitors, and St. Marys employees; another, adjacent business and property owners; and the third, nearby neighborhoods.
ROCHESTER, Minn. (June 23, 2016) – At today’s board meeting, the Destination Medical Center (DMC) Corporation Board of Directors discussed Mayo Clinic’s recent announcement of a major milestone for DMC’s Discovery Square; highlights from this year’s BIO International Convention; DMC urban design guidelines; and updates on DMC priorities, including Heart of the City and transportation.
“Mayo Clinic’s investment in Discovery Square is an exciting step for the City of Rochester. Discovery Square will propel the development of innovative ideas, products, and businesses in southeast Minnesota,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith, DMC Corporation Board Chair. “We are well-positioned to make Rochester ‘America’s City for Health’ and the world’s premier destination for health and wellness.”
With Mayo Clinic defining its landscape, Rochester has always been a place where health is front-and-center.
But a primary goal for the Destination Medical Center is to transform Rochester into America’s City for Health where residents and visitors will, literally, walk the walk when it comes to wellness.
Guidelines developed by the University of Minnesota Design Center that are meant to help DMC and the City of Rochester meet those goals will be open for public comment Thursday.
“We want Rochester to be a place where local infrastructure encourages a healthy lifestyle,” said DMC Executive Director Lisa Clarke. “That may mean designing neighborhoods streets that promote walking over driving, for instance.
Click here to read more about the guidelines and how to view them.
The Community Advisory Committee charged with guiding the public realm design for Heart of the City, the DMC sub-district that serves as the soul of Rochester’s downtown, selected six consulting teams this week from the eleven who applied.
In twenty minutes, those are the three words more than 100 Rochester community members settled on to describe what they believe makes a healthy city.
The rapid-fire brainstorming event was part of a Community Conversation About Prototyping, a public event hosted by Destination Medical Center, Rochester Downtown Alliance, and the Rochester Art Center. It featured Our City co-founders and prototyping festival organizers Ray Boyle and Jake Levitas.
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.