Main Street as a Microcosm of the World

How can a three-day design workshop make a difference? Be a strong local partner able to convene community. Rob Steuteville at CNU Public Square shares lessons learned.

1 minute read

March 24, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By Hazel Borys

Main Street

Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock

"CNU partnered with a strong nonprofit, the Center for Neighborhoods, on a highly productive Legacy Project to restore and reimagine the future of Woodlawn Avenue, the commercial heart of the Beechmont neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky."

“'In three days, we got to the point of fully focusing on implementation, all because of the local partners on the ground,' says Susan Henderson of PlaceMakers, LLC, who led the Legacy workshop. Based in Louisville, CFN has the trust of the merchants and the community—propelling the event with a clear vision based on public outreach, Henderson says."

"The plan from the design charrette was organized around six strong community goals: Develop inclusive identity, reuse historic buildings, encourage small-scale development, enhance connectivity, improve pedestrian safety, and support local business. Highlights of the plan included a creative solution for a deadly intersection, ideas for boosting the identity and capacity of the main street, opportunities for historical rehabilitation and new infill construction, and practical placemaking for new and renewed public spaces."

Steuteville shares some essentials on what made this little volunteer effort so effective, which may be particularly pertinent for this point in the economic cycle.

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