Designing Rochester

Designing Rochester

This article was scraped from Rochester Subway. This is a blog about Rochester history and urbanism has not been published since 2017. The current owners are now publishing link spam which made me want to preserve this history.. The original article was published April 13, 2009 and can be found here.

The RRCDC office at the Hungerford Complex, East Main Street. This building features a design gallery and resource library free and open to the public.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being introduced to the     Rochester Regional Community Design Center    . The RRCDC is a group of design professionals, planners, and citizens who donate their time to the purpose of     designing    Rochester's public spaces. They offer their design guidance and recommendations to the city through public lectures, design     charrettes    , and an open-to-the-public design gallery/resource library at their studio on East Main Street. For anyone remotely interested in how cities are planned or issues surrounding urban renewal as they apply to the city of Rochester, the RRCDC is a must-see.

Hard at work at the January 2007 Downtown Design Charrette

In January 2007, the RRCDC coordinated and facilitated a three-day design charrette for Center City Rochester. Held at Midtown Plaza, 138 local design professionals, along with community leaders and citizens shared their ideas in an unprecedented volunteer-based think-tank. The purpose was: 1) to generate ideas for the development of strategic sites in 5 geographic focus areas in the downtown, 2) to identify guiding principles as a design approach to revitalization of the built environment in the downtown, 3) to create a Center City Vision Plan to help guide future projects in the downtown, 4) to create an environment for economic rejuvenation and sustainable development in the downtown.

The Rochester Center City Master Plan. This map highlights areas throughout downtown Rochester which were the focus of RRCDC's 2007 Downtown Charrette Report

During the course of the year following, five design teams and approximately 55 design professionals, worked to refine plans and design schemes for sites in their focus areas. The RRCDC team worked on the overall issues related to items like circulation, connectivity, public realm improvements and green space and assembled a brilliant, comprehensive document entitled,     "Rochester, NY, A Vision for the Future"    . The report and the drawings it contains will no doubt serve as a basis for the City's strategic plan moving foward.

If a design charrette sounds a little too intense for you, the RRCDC also offers an exciting schedule of lectures, exhibits, and discussions centering on how Rochester can revitalize itself through urban design.

Upcoming Lectures:

The New Green Cities:
    A Model for Municipal Stewardship

Mayor George Heartwell & Suzanne Schulz, AICP
     Mayor & Director of Planning, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Thursday, April 16, 7:00-9:00 pm
     At Salem United Church of Christ, 60 Bittner St. (       map it      )

Visit      for ticket info.

Neighborhood Revitalization &
    the Importance of Transit-Oriented Development

Jacky Grimshaw
     Vice President, Policy, Transportation, and Community Development Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, May 13, 7:00-9:00 pm
     At Coptic Monastery of St. Shenouda (formerly Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church), 270 W. Main St. (       map it      )

Visit      for ticket info.

Current Exhibit:

Healthy and Happy Cities: Urban Design with Nature

Exhibit on view now through June 12, 2009
    At The Design Gallery @ RRCDC (      map it     )

Chris Gemignani

Chris Gemignani

Rochester, NY, USA