Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Design Connect Kicks Off Spring Projects

Design Connect, an multidisciplinary, student‐run, community design organization based at Cornell University, recently held two information sessions to kick-off recruiting for their Spring projects. After applications were compiled, four project teams emerged to advance projects around the region. 
Erin, NY - The Scotchtown Cemetery Restoration
The Scotchtown Cemetery was struck by a tornado in the April 2011.  The storm uprooted century old fir trees and damaged grave markers, radically changing the natural environment of the cemetery. Design Connect will help the trustees in the restoration of the cemetery by providing  research and preliminary landscape design work towards development of a final site plan. The goal of the trustees is to develop the cemetery as a natural area with green spaces and possible nature trails—using plants that encourage wildlife and contribute to the natural beauty of the space while minimizing long-term property maintenance and labor costs.

Oneonta, NY - Advancing the River Corporation Commerce Park
The Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council (GOEDC) is looking to develop a large parcel of land that was once the largest railroad roundhouse in the world and is now known as the River Corporation Commerce Park.  Due to the size and complexity of the project, GOEDC has engaged with Design Connect through a combined workshop class and volunteer group to provide key services in the creation of a site plan.  Some of the projects the GOEDC is interested in pursuing include a conceptual master design of the site, developing a green energy plan for the site and renderings of potential buildings, landscape designs and streetscapes.

Wayne, NY - Creating Conceptual Designs for Zoning and “Best Practices” Guidance
The project entails helping the Town of Wayne visually translate new land use regulations (developed by students in CRP 5072) into design guidelines for future subdivision of lands in the town.  Five to six key tracts of land within the proposed Agricultural and Hillside Conservation zoning districts would be used to illustrate land subdivision approaches that can preserve scenic views, rural character and working agricultural landscapes. 

Waterloo, NY - Working Towards a Revitalization Master Plan
The Village of Waterloo is a small community located between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. Waterloo has historical significance as the birthplace of Memorial Day and connection with the Womenʼs Rights Movement over 150 years ago. The village recently completed a Downtown Assessment Study. The goal of Design Connect this semester is to help the Village to continue towards developing a master plan focusing on revitalizing the downtown area. 

Design Connect strives to empower students and citizens by advancing collaborative, democratic, and sustainable design and planning projects in local communities. These projects offer practical experience to students through cooperation with local municipalities and non‐profit organizations while providing design and planning services for these groups that may not have the resources to advance projects forward toward professional implementation.
Formed in the Spring of 2008 by students as an initiative of the Design & Planning Group, Design Connect became an independent student organization in 2010. Since its inception, over 300 students have participated working on more than 40 projects.  For more information visit www.designconnectcornell.com.