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Connective Corridor selection committee announces choice in design competition
Connective Corridor selection committee announces choice in design competitionNovember 01, 2006Paula Meserollpcmesero@syr.edu
The Connective Corridor Design Competition Selection Committee has recommended, and Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll has approved, the selection of Field Operations with CLEAR as the project’s design team.
“In today’s knowledge-based economy, communities across the country are searching for ways to engage student populations,” says Driscoll. “The Connective Corridor concept does just that for Syracuse, providing a way for SU’s 16,000 students to get off the Hill and discover downtown. What makes the Field Operations team most intriguing is that they recognize the Connective Corridor can be more than a transportation strategy. They see it as an opportunity for new, focused development along the entire route that runs from Armory Square, through downtown, up along East Genesee Street and into the heart of the Hill.”
With Driscoll’s approval, the city engineering department will negotiate an agreement with the designers, which must then be ratified by the Common Council. Once under contract, the firm will begin designing a plan specific to the Connective Corridor.
The Field Operations with CLEAR project team includes ARUP, civil and transportation engineers; lighting designers L’Observatoire International; and ecology consultant Donald J. Leopold, a professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The design team members havecollaborated on numerous large-scale projects, including the High Line Park in New York City, an abandoned elevated rail line that is being converted to a landscaped walkway. Other projects include Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, Calif.; Cupey Corridor, on the University of Puerto Rico’s Rio Piedras campus; and Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island, N.Y.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with this opportunity,” says James Corner, principal of Field Operations, and professor and chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Pennsylvania. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Syracuse to establish a new urban identity, a program that is centered on the revitalization of the street and on the connection between Syracuse University and the city.”
“We are pleased that the Design Competition Selection Committee has made their selection and that Mayor Driscoll has concurred,” says Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “The Corridor is an unprecedented collaborative effort that is bringing together Syracuse’s public, private, community and business sectors to strengthen the community, connect residents with our cultural venues, and promote further economic development. During the design competition, Field Operations with CLEAR put forth a creative and dynamic vision, and we are excited to have such a talented group of professionals working with us to develop a specific design for the Corridor.”
The selection of Field Operations with CLEAR is the culmination of a National Grid-sponsored design competition that began in March with the naming of the selection committee by Driscoll and Cantor. The committee chose four finalist teams, which had eight weeks to develop concepts for the Connective Corridor. The teams were given a list of key design considerations that included transportation, technology, streetscape improvements, maintenance, lighting, green space, art and culture. They were also provided community input collected during public meetings held by Syracuse University in December 2005 and February 2006.
The design teams presented their concepts to the community during a symposium held at the Everson Museum in September. The concepts had been displayed at locations throughout the city for a month before the symposium, and the public was given opportunities to comment on and ask questions about the designs.
Selection committee members included Kathleen Callahan, at-large member of the Syracuse Common Council; Tim Carroll, director of city operations for the City of Syracuse; Maxine Griffith, vice president for government and community affairs at Columbia University; Marilyn Higgins, vice president for economic development for National Grid, the Connective Corridor lead corporate sponsor; John Renock, senior vice president of corporate operations for the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority; Van Robinson, at-large member of the Syracuse Common Council; Mary Robison, Syracuse city engineer; and Marilyn Jordan Taylor, partner-in-charge for Urban Design and Planning for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. Serving as competition advisor was Casey Jones, principal of Jones/Kroloff, a design consultancy based in New Orleans, which has organized numerous national and international design competitions.
“National Grid has been proud to be part of this dynamic process to craft a new vision for linking the University to downtown Syracuse,” says Mike Kelleher, senior vice president of National Grid. “The selection of Field Operations to help craft this vision will undoubtedly spur new investment along the route and bring more jobs to our community.”
More information about the Connective Corridor is available at http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu.