Adaptive Reuse

Bruce Katz Master Talk

Bruce Katz is the Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Previously he served as inaugural Centennial Scholar at Brookings Institution and as VP and director of Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program for 20 years. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice at London School of Economics, and previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs.

The Rail Park: A Railroad and Neighborhood Story Wall

The Rail Park is an adaptive reuse of the Reading Viaduct, once used by the Reading and Pennsylvania Railroads, and a hub for hundreds of rail lines. At the entrance to the park is an 80-foot long “ghost map” wall that provides a dramatic visual reminder of what this industrial neighborhood once was, and the fascinating stories and significant architecture that merited its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tackling Parking and Transportation

Preparing for an uncertain parking and transportation future. Panelists dive deep into how downtowns and college campuses are working together to address parking challenges. Case study examples include North Carolina State University, University of Alabama Birmingham, and Arizona State University, and how to start thinking about planning for shared autonomous vehicles.

Historic Preservation Basics for Downtown Districts

Confused about the historic preservation lingo and tax credits? Don’t know the difference between the National Register and a locally designated landmark? Wondering why design guidelines for matching grants for storefront rehab matter, and why the Secretary of the Interior has standards that should be followed when rehabbing historic properties? This panel will clear it all up for you in a snappy presentation with a host of handouts.

555 Monroe North Park

The City of Grand Rapids received a grant to purchase a riverfront surface parking lot and sought out Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.’s assistance with moving quickly to animate the space. Through the help of our citizen lead Alliance, the Business Association, local non-profits, 30+ volunteers and 40+ artists, we were able to activate the space with a quicker, cheaper approach using repurposed materials to create a new unique public space in our downtown that could be used year-round.

Selden Market

Selden Market is the latest initiative in Downtown Norfolk Council’s Vibrant Spaces program. Located in the historic Selden Arcade that sits between Main and Plume Streets in downtown, Selden Market serves as Downtown Norfolk’s first retail incubator to help new and emerging businesses get established by providing six-month leases with significantly reduced rents.

Simon O’Byrne Master Talk

Simon O’Byrne is an award-winning urban designer/planner with Stantec’s Urban Places who has been frequently quoted in European and North America media and spoken at many international conferences. Simon has led multi-disciplinary design teams in the planning and delivery of complex and politically charged projects. His experience ranges from intensive urban revitalization redevelopments, to the Ice District in Edmonton, to creating resiliency in Hull, UK, to the Alberta Legislature Grounds.

Bringing Back Main Streets

A look at historically popular areas that went through an idle period, but have since seen a resurgence through a combination of means (space management, economic development, etc).

The Garage at Clinton Row Adaptive Re-Use Project

The Garage at Clinton Row project retrofitted a 30+ year-old municipal park deck that, while structurally sound, negatively impacted the pedestrian experience and retail traffic along a key downtown corridor. This project is a blueprint for re-activating first floor parking garages with mixed-use and transforming upper levels and the surrounding areas with creative place-making projects like decorative lighting, bikeshare, and event programming.

Retro Districts: Leveraging Arts, Culture, and Heritage

In the resurgence of downtowns, cultural districts have become a highly effective catalyst for cultivating authentic mixed-use districts that encourage the people who have historically lived and worked in a place to be part of its future. Cultural districts can take many forms, but ultimately are successful because they are true to a place and its people. Learn about cultural districts augmenting the downtowns of San Antonio, Charlotte and Denver.