Downtown Revitalization Initiative
As part of Governor Cuomo’s $100 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Marc Wouters led the urban planning and public engagement process for the City of Elmira, NY, the City of Oneonta, NY, and Oswego, NY. In Elmira, central neighborhoods have a poverty rate of 46% and the city is seeking ways of revitalizing its deteriorated historic downtown core as a means of attracting new businesses and housing.
Mr. Wouters led the design for several projects that are key to an overall downtown revitalization strategy and that have the potential to leverage additional private investment. Projects include new mixed-use buildings, support for small businesses, street and pedestrian improvements, mixed-income housing, parking structure renovations, public space improvements, zoning adjustments, funding for historic building renovations, job creation strategies, and more.
An extensive public engagement process involved hundreds of community members in multiple workshops, stakeholder interviews, steering committee meetings, walking tours, on-line surveys, and public hearings. Break-out groups in the public workshops allowed residents to build consensus of top priorities. The plan for all three cities leveraged $30 million of public funds into nearly $120 million of public and private investment and the first projects from the DRI plan are already proceeding. The work was performed while at a Stantec.