Placemaking is the future of Utica. Rustbelt cities across the country rise and fall based on their ability to create spaces that people want to be in. Most people do not want to be directed into an undesirable place. That is why placemaking principles focus on the “people.” Placemaking is all about community driven action to develop functional places that are also flexible, collaborative and sociable. Through this framework, these public driven spaces grow into desirable destinations for the community. They become destinations because the people are involved. It gives them a sense of ownership. And ultimately, since the people are involved with the form and function of these spaces, they will naturally reflect the personality of the people.
Christopher Henry is a Utica “transplant” from Pennsylvania. He received his Master of Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). While at ESF he had the privilege to study under distinguished teaching professors Richard Hawks and George Curry. His major professor was Fullbright Senior Specialist Emanuel J. Carter. Under his guidance Christopher wrote his capstone study: “Mixed-Use Development in a Time of Opportunity”. Chris conducted a comparative design study between urban and rural developments in response to natural gas exploration in Northeast Pennsylvania. Now he lives and works in Utica. He is currently working with the Utica Children’s Museum adventure playground and numerous commercial and residential design customers. He is fortunate to work for a local design build firm where he gets to make “places” one house and business at a time.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx