PLACE Consulting’s Kimberly Bares was tapped to provide expertise in economic development as part of the American Planning Association’s Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT) project in Greensboro, NC, which focused on developing an innovation village.
The team was led by Jeff Taebel, FAICP, Director of Community and Environmental Planning, Houston-Galveston Area Council and included Triveece Penelton, AICP, City Planner and Public Involvement Innovator, Vireo and Joanne Shelly, RLA, AICP, LEED BD+C, an experienced master planner who has lead project teams in-house, across town and internationally. The team met in Greensboro for a week-long site visit that included stakeholder meetings, community outreach, plan review, and meetings with key City of Greensboro department leaders and organizations.
The innovation center, known as Gateway University Research Park, is home to a world-class nanotech research facility and several tech firms, developed jointly by two universities beginning in 2006. Development has occurred in a largely uncoordinated manner and in a predominately suburban form. The CPAT project focused on developing a plan for:
robust transit options
connectivity to adjacent residential communities
amenities and social events for both research park users and area residents
PLACE provided a retail market and demographic analysis, recommendations for phased development, placemaking and activation, enhanced community connectivity, and restaurant and service amenities for current and future tenants, as well as the surrounding community residents.
A community input technique, " PLACE IT!,” designed by James Rojas, was introduced by Sue Schwartz, City of Greensboro Director of Planning and Community Development, and the team used this method to identify desires and issues of concern from community members. PLACE IT! uses model building and art creation as the medium to encourage the participation of the public in the planning process.
The planning team’s recommendations were submitted to the City of Greensboro for their consideration and adoption. The recommendations can be found here. PLACE Consulting thanks the APA, the City of Greensboro and fellow team members for a rewarding experience!