Professor Cheryl Doble and Maren King, 2001-2003
In January of 2001 the Village of Solvay, located on the northwestern edge of the city of Syracuse, approached the Center for Community Design Research (CCDR) requesting assistance in formulating a master plan. After several discussions about how the CCDR could assist residents of Solvay, the CCDR agreed to conduct a bootstrapping session with village representatives. The bootstrapping session, held in April 2002, was a workshop for a small group of community leaders from Solvay to freely brainstorm with experienced professionals from the CCDR about ways to identify and address issues and concerns facing their community.
In a series of three workshops held over the fall of 2002, residents and business owners of the Village shared information on village characteristics, including strengths, valued places, underutilized resources and desired changes. They evaluated and revised draft vision statements, and developed and prioritized the critically important initial implementation steps. Based on the comments, the final vision statement was developed and design proposals were revised to reflect community desire and vision.
The following six goals contribute to the overall vision and are supported by proposed actions involving community organization, continued citizen participation, and projects: 1) strengthen the existing village center and establish strong and visible internal connections between this center and the wider community, 2) develop a new vision for Milton Avenue, rethinking its traditional role and image in light of societal and village changes, 3) encourage and support a range of housing choices and residential neighborhoods, 4) improve the major gateway corridors along Bridge Street, West Genesee Street and Milton Avenue, 5) strengthen and increase civic opportunities for community members of all ages, and 6) identify and celebrate the historic resources that represent the rich industrial and civic foundations upon which the village was developed and which continue to be valued.
Another outcome of the vision planning process was the Milton Avenue Design Study, a more detailed investigation of the Milton Avenue corridor by Masters in Landscape Architecture student Rob Mooney.