Input sessions will help urban planners and designers create a “Vision Master Plan” for city neighborhoods impacted by the project

Syracuse, N.Y. – The City of Syracuse and its urban planning and design consultant, Dover, Kohl & Partners (DKP), will hold a six-day Community Grid “Neighborhood Design Studio” to envision the future of Interstate 81 neighborhoods during the week of August 21 at STEM at Dr. King Elementary School, 416 E. Raynor Avenue.

Residents are invited to share their ideas directly with planners and designers from the DKP team as they conduct open design studio sessions Tuesday, August 23 through Friday, August 26. The DKP team will conclude this initial visioning effort with a community open house on Saturday, August 27.  The community open house will feature free food and music and an unveiling of “big idea” concepts developed with the community during the week. All public participation will be hosted at STEM at Dr. King Elementary School.

“The Interstate 81 project is about more than transportation. It is an opportunity to create healthier and more livable city neighborhoods,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.  “The Neighborhood Design Studio is a first of its kind opportunity for public engagement on the Interstate 81 project.  Residents will have the chance to work side-by-side with design professionals who are focused on how we can use this once in a generation opportunity to make stronger and more cohesive city neighborhoods.”

“The Neighborhood Design Studio represents a terrific opportunity for the public to help shape the future of the Community Grid so it benefits everyone. The big ideas of the community’s vision are clear, and they are the result of years of hard work by citizens and leaders. But there’s more to do,” said Victor Dover, Founding Principal, DKP.  “Now we need to get details down, on paper. We hope citizens will come and sit at the table with us as we work on those details and help us get them right. This is how Syracuse will restore itself and build the best possible future.”

Schedule for Public Participation

*All Design Studio public events at STEM at Dr. King School – use primary school entrance off parking lot on east side of building

On Monday, August 22, prior to the concept session and open house, the DKP team will tour city neighborhoods impacted by the Interstate 81 project and will conduct door-to-door canvassing to collect input. Throughout the week, DKP will have about 18 planners, designers, and subject-matter experts ranging in topics from housing to transportation in Syracuse. The design studio process is also commonly referred to as a “charrette,” a process in which multiple professionals work in a fast-paced, collaborative process to build consensus and solve a design problem.

Information on the I-81 Community Grid Neighborhood Design Studio program is at

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