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Connective Corridor Featured at Greenbuild
The Connective Corridor was featured at Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, held Nov. 20-22 in Philadelphia, as a civic engagement model for sustainable initiatives.
The conference, presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), convenes the world’s largest gathering of the green building movement. It was attended by more than 30,000 professionals from all aspects of the green building industry—from architects, urban planners, designers and developers, to educational institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and urban planners.
The USGBC recognized Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County with its Leadership Award at last year’s international conference, and this year, Connective Corridor partners were selected to present an education session on the project for other communities from around the globe.
Speaking were Linda Dickerson Hartsock, director of the Connective Corridor in SU’s Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development; Owen Kerney, assistant director for city planning, Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency; and Andrew Potts, PE, LEED AP+, CPESC, senior technologist for water resources, CH2M HILL.
The topic was particularly of interest to post-industrial “legacy” cites that have aging infrastructure and older building stock with energy efficiency issues. These communities require a comprehensive “rebuild” and “reinvent” approach to reducing their carbon footprint, and Syracuse was showcased for its corridor work to redevelop a mixed-use walkable, bike- and transit-friendly, revitalized urban core based on green streets, green highways and green infrastructure.
The workshop highlighted key sustainability aspects of the corridor project that include:
- complete street design integrated with pedestrian and bike pathways and traffic-calming measures to encourage multi-modal use;
- innovative Save the Rain green infrastructure elements of the corridor, such as rain gardens, geogrids, bioswales, permeable pavers, tree trenches and native landscaping) to harvest and manage 22 million gallons of storm water annually;
- free public transit with smart transportation technologies to enhance public transit usage, which has increased from 6,000 to 190,000-plus riders per year on the corridor route;
- energy-efficient lighting projects as part of façade improvements and building retrofits;
- LEED projects along the corridor and Near West Side, such as four LEED Platinum commercial buildings (Syracuse CoE, Hotel Skyler, King+King and Lincoln Supply), two LEED Platinum residential buildings (From the Ground Up homes), along with the Near West Side’s designation as the first LEED ND (neighborhood) in the country; and
- Syracuse University’s commitment to the mission of green building on campus through numerous LEED building projects and a school-wide goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.
Project partners wrapped up with a discussion on how to develop civic engagement strategies through an inclusive process that promotes sustainability, smart growth and creative placemaking; advances public policies that develop new civic capacity around green building; and addresses water resource protection, community development and climate change.