What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
Bushnell Park North's Project Goals: To connect the public transportation hub with Main Street and make Connectict's capital city more culturally vibrant and environmentally sustainable. The goal was to get more feet on the street. This would increase the demand for retail, food and other services in a city's Downtown. More people on the street meant safer streets and increase in economic development. To be able to accomplish this we had to put aside the notion that had built up since the 1940's that the car was king and create complete streets that would also cater to the pedestrian to accomplish some of our other goals.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The basic tenants of the original goals remained, but became more refined as design grew into implementation. The changes made to Busnhell Park North would not only assist in connecting transportaion to Main Street, but also connect the cultural treasures that are located within Downtown Hartford.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
iQuilt Partnership – a sixteen-member board made up of representatives from the City of Hartford, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, MetroHartford Alliance, the Hartford Business Improvement District, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Metropolitan District Commission, and representatives from cultural institutions, businesses (Phoenix and the Travelers), the arts and higher education. The iQuilt, beyond extensive local and regional support, is highly praised by Congressman John Larson (CT), With Doug Suisman, FAIA, Principal, Suisman Urban Design (Los Angeles, CA), as primary project architect, The Bushnell has coalesced an internationally-acclaimed team of designers. Suisman was joined with other highly regarded professionals in architecture, design, landscape architecture, lighting design, and revenue generation planning fields.
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
Begun as a grassroots effort, the iQuilt Plan (www.iQuiltPlan.org) rapidly gained support from all sectors of the city, and has been embraced as a logical next step in ongoing state, municipal and private-sector efforts to revitalize Hartford’s neighborhoods and economy. The Bushnell Park North project is the largest publically funded piece that will be completed this year. This project been a catylist for other projects and spurred on investment in other development projects. Other patches of the Quilt have begun to be realized and all connect back to Bushnell Park North and the Central GreenWalk from Bushenll Park to the Connecticut Rivier.
The project has also played a strong role in unifying downtown’s cultural assets and establishing Hartford as a distinctive, authentic, cultural district. Eight months ago the University of Connecticut announced plans to relocate a suburban campus to Downtown Hartford. Trinity College, on January 5, 2015 completed the purchase of a large building in Downtown and will be moving one or more of its programs into this new facility. Bushnell Park North is playing a key role in how all of these projects are tied together.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
Bryant Park, Governor's Island, Pittsburgh