The Heart of PlaceMaking is People

In December of 2014 the City of Syracuse began an open competition to select the team that would redesign One Lincoln Center and Former Perseverance Park. The Goal: to create a new vibrant community space at the heart of Syracuse’s downtown, an effort that is not entirely new to the area. The park is surrounded by several spaces that have been revitalized, spaces like: Hanover Square, Clinton Square, and The Connective Corridor. These newly revitalized areas create an environment that attracts people from other communities into Downtown spaces. The efforts to cultivate a new space in Syracuse’s downtown is not a City project, it’s a people project. At the heart of all place-making is a commitment to people.

“The efforts to cultivate a new space in Syracuse’s downtown is not a City project, it’s a people project. At the heart of all place-making is a commitment to people.”
Photo by Iwan Baan

Syracuse is not alone in its efforts to revitalize public spaces. All across the nation, cities are working to increase the number, and quality of their public spaces. In New York City, Former City Planner Amanda Burden transformed public spaces and became a renowned urban planner. She is one of the key contributors to the famous Highline City Space, a converted elevated rail line that was scheduled for demolition.

In her 2014 Ted Talk, she explains the importance of public space especially in urbanized areas. From small city parks to large waterfront conversions, Burden fought for the opportunity to transform open-spaces into utilized community parks. She explains that at the center of this mission to fight for a beautiful yet balanced city. One that poises public space as its most valued opportunity for improving city-life.

“Open spaces in cities are opportunities. Yes, they are opportunities for commercial investment, but they are also opportunities for the common good of the city, and those two goals are often not aligned with one another, and therein lies the conflict.” — A. Burden

Aligning those goals is Syracuse’s current project. Building equitable public space is a mission it continues to take on. The New Urban Space is small, but meaningful. Its versatile location and new structures will be home to a vibrant community Downtown Syracuse has been waiting for. It will be home to a highly anticipated public art piece and innovative design concepts that will bring the space alive.

Over the next several months, our team will be providing updates on the ongoing developments with the New Urban Space. We’ll also be working to activate the existing space with a variety of events, to demonstrate the use of a convenient city center. These are opportunities for you and our city to come together for a transformative project that everyone can get involved in.

Join us twice a month for a look at how public spaces are shaping the world around us, and for details on the ongoing project for the New Urban Space Downtown.

Follow us on Twitter to learn how @SyrSpaces can #ActivatetheSpace around you.


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