Funded by the Louis and Hortense Rubin Fellowship
The Troy Gateway Initiative is a community development project focused on improving the primary entrances to the City of Troy, with an emphasis on the six bridges that cross the Hudson River and serve as the waterfront “gateways” to the city. On an average day, approximately 130,000 vehicles cross the six bridges that connect Troy with points west. Unfortunately, those entering the city via these bridges are typically unaware of the opportunities awaiting them within the city. The poor design and physical appearance of the areas surrounding the bridges do not effectively market Troy’s rich architectural heritage, growing commercial areas, and unique waterfront, and diminish civic pride. The Troy Gateway Initiative was established to bring together interested community residents, business owners, government representatives, and non-profit organizations to examine a broad range of physical improvements in the vicinity of the city’s principal entrances. The initial efforts of the Initiative have been soliciting input on desirable improvements from the community via a series of public meetings. The goal of the Troy Gateway Initiative design charrette was to take the information collected from these meetings and create a comprehensive, compelling, and sustainable vision for the bridge entrances to the city. The design charrette is a workshop held in a one to three day period in which architects and other design professionals, community leaders, public officials and citizens work together to envision alternatives for a city/community project, with an emphasis on long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability. Most significantly, charrettes are an effective means to initiate volunteerism and collaboration to jump start community revitalization. The charrette provided an interactive forum for professional and public education in which designers, students and community representatives participated in proposing alternative visions by which we can understand, evaluate and determine future plans and options. It is an effective means of understanding the complex issues of design, construction, operation and maintenance, and gives us a synergistic view of our environment and economic and cultural resources.