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Urban expert Carol Coletta to visit Syracuse on Thursday to learn about downtown revitalization strategy efforts
Urban expert Carol Coletta to visit Syracuse on Thursday to learn about downtown revitalization strategy effortsMarch 25, 2009Jemeli Tanuijetanui@syr.edu
Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, and host and producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show “Smart City,” will visit Syracuse on Thursday, March 26, to learn more about the city’s ongoing revitalization projects. She will share the work of CEOs for Cities with leaders from the community and Syracuse University.
CEOs for Cities is a national network of urban leaders from the corporate, philanthropic, civic, higher education and public sectors dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities. The organization has identified four core areas that make up the framework for a successful city: talent, connections, innovation and distinctiveness. CEOs for Cities then works with partners in its network to develop local strategies based on each city’s strengths and needs.
Coletta will spend the day in Syracuse at the Creative Corner, located on the fourth floor of The Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St., she will hear presentations about ongoing SU engagement efforts. She will also attend the 11 a.m. opening of King & King Architects’ new headquarters at 358 W. Jefferson St., have lunch in Armory Square, and participate in a roundtable discussion with the Near Westside Initiative Board of Directors.
“Carol’s visit underlines the national significance of what’s happening in Syracuse today,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “CEOs for Cities is an important force for urban revitalization in the nation. They embrace an approach to helping older industrial cities reinvent themselves that is consonant with the energetic, cross-sector collaboration we’re seeing here in Syracuse. Syracuse University is proud to serve as an anchor institution in this revitalization, and we’re thrilled that Carol is visiting.”
Coletta became interested in Syracuse after meeting Cantor at a conference on revitalizing older industrial cities hosted by the American Assembly in Hershey, Pa., in November 2007.
“Syracuse University is doing important work in the area of economic development, especially as it relates to the role of anchor institutions in our cities,” says Coletta. “Successful cities depend increasingly on universities playing beyond their borders to connect the campus to the city with imagination and confidence. Clearly, Chancellor Cantor has done that, and I look forward to taking the lessons of Syracuse back to our network.”
Prior to her work at CEOs for Cities, Coletta served as president of Coletta & Co. in Memphis, Ga. In addition, she was executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Architectural Foundation.
Coletta was a Knight Fellow in Community Building for 2003 at the University of Miami School of Architecture and is currently a candidate for a master of design methods degree at the Institute of Design at IIT. Last year, she was named one of the world’s 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank.
“Carol is one of the most influential thinkers on urban issues in the country today, so it’s really an honor to have her come visit our city and hold discussions with several members of the community all day,” says Marilyn Higgins, SU vice president for community engagement and economic development, whose office leads, in collaboration with many local partners, the revitalization of the Syracuse Art, Life and Technology (SALT) District in the Near Westside neighborhood. Higgins is also a member of CEOs for Cities.
While in Syracuse, Coletta will learn about various interdisciplinary projects undertaken by SU and various community partners:
- The Urban Video Project: a public arts initiative of Syracuse University and Time Warner Cable that aims to bring art to the streets and buildings of Syracuse’s Connective Corridor. Denise Heckman, associate professor of design in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), will present.
- Connective Corridor innovation: updates on the latest installations on the Connective Corridor-the signature strip of cutting-edge cultural development connecting University Hill with downtown Syracuse. Three VPA design faculty members-Chris McCray, Michael McAllister and Dennis Earle-will present.
- The Green Team: the New York’s Creative Core group focused on promoting and supporting green and clean technologies in the Central New York/Upstate area. Edward Bogucz, executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, will present.
- Neighborhood design: a look at how unique leading edge designs can serve as a neighborhood regeneration tool, as evidenced in the recent Innovative Green Homes design competition hosted by the School of Architecture as a SALT District project, in conjunction with the Syracuse Center of Excellence and Home HeadQuarters Inc., that resulted in three architectural models to be built in an infill site in the Near Westside neighborhood. Julia Czerniak, associate professor in the School of Architecture, will present.
- Neighborhood entrepreneurship: fostering economic growth by building on existing assets and skills in urban neighborhoods, as seen in the South Side Innovation Center, which serves as a business incubator for existing and emerging entrepreneurs. Thomas Kruczek, executive director for entrepreneurship at the Whitman School of Management, will present.
- The Casita Cultural Project: aims to acknowledge Latino/a populations in Syracuse and to promote their histories, heritages and legacies by creating a space where the University and community will interact dynamically through activities and events that involve music, dance, workshops, a bilingual library, lectures, documentation programs and more. Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla, assistant professor of languages, literature and linguistics in The College of Arts and Sciences and director of Casita, will present.
- SEED: a project to develop a greenhouse using sustainable “green” technology in the Near Westside neighborhood that will increase access to healthy food choices for residents. An interdisciplinary team of professors working on the SEED project will present. The SEED team of professors: Edward Lipson, professor of physics in The College of Arts and Sciences; Lee McKnight, associate professor in the School of Information Studies; Kevin Lair, assistant professor in the School of Architecture; and Craig Watters, assistant professor in the Whitman School.
- The 601 Tully Street Project: aims to build a storefront that will house an arts, writing and emerging entrepreneurs center in the Near Westside neighborhood to serve small businesses, as well as function as an after-school center with a community literacy photography program. This is a community design/build project whereby students in a social sculpture class-taught by Marion Wilson, director of community initiatives at VPA-will design and build the project.
To learn more about CEOs for Cities, visit http://www.ceosforcities.org/.
To learn about the SALT District, visit http://saltdistrict.com/.