Community Design Center News...................................................June 2021
We are sad to report the passing of a dear friend of the Community Design Center Rochester, Dean Biancavilla.

It was Dean, along with Bob Haley (co-directors of the Syracuse Design Center) who came to Rochester in the Spring of 1998 to present to a small group of urban design enthusiasts; coaching them about how to start an Urban Design Center here in Rochester. In essence, the CDCR was born that day. That group of architects, planners, and dedicated urbanites, along with Dean, created a Board, formed a 501c3 non-profit, wrote by-laws, and embarked on the 23-year journey to what is our present CDCR.

Dean was instrumental in helping to provide the professional assistance, guidance, and advice required as the CDCR developed through its various stages: as an ad-hoc group meeting at various architects offices; moving to a house owned by Third Presbyterian Church on Meigs Street (also occupied by Common Good Planning Center); visiting design centers in Nashville and Chattanooga, as part of researching the non-profit design center concept; incorporating the community design Charrette process into the Pittsford Village CP community engagement initiative and the City of Rochester’s 2000 Downtown Charrette; becoming the AIA Rochester Urban Design Committee which ultimately developed in December 2003 as the Rochester Regional Urban Design Committee, a free standing 501c3; and in December 2004 moved into our present space in the Hungerford Complex. He would drive from Syracuse to Rochester to attend monthly Board meetings, design charrettes (which he loved to participate in), yearly retreats, work sessions, and social events. For 15 of those 23 years he was Vice President of the organization. Furthermore, he created the AIA NY State Urban Design Committee and involved the CDCR in urban design presentations at their conferences. In fact, he was involved in CDCR presentations at local, state, and national conferences (CNU, FLRCDC).

Dean’s Board term expired in 2015 but he was deeply interested in the work of the CDCR and remained friends with many of its members as well as with other AIA Rochester architects. Dean will be greatly missed by so many of us who have participated in CDCR activities and programs and he will be remembered as one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Center.

May's Lecture with Dr. Destiny Thomas
Thank you to all who attended our lecture with Dr. Destiny Thomas last week! She helped us unpack the intense intersection of healing & atonement with the architecture/planning fields. Attendees thanked and praised Dr. Thomas for her brutal honesty and personal accounts. Folks further commented that racism and urbanism are even more entangled than they had thought -- and emphasized that we need to actively repair this.

We hosted a follow-up Community Conversation to further unpack Dr. Thomas's lecture and connect it to the local context, featuring Revered Myra Brown (local activist & Pastor at Spiritus Christi Church).

Click the images above to watch recordings of the lecture (left) and follow-up Community Conversation (right).

Join us for our next Reshaping Rochester lecture w/ June Grant, RA, NOMA
Leveraging Latency for Community Regeneration
June Grant, RA, NOMA
Design Principal at blink!LAB architecture | San Francisco, CA

June 23, 12:00pm
Zoom Webinar
Introducing Our Summer Interns
Mohammed Bah is from Monrovia, Liberia, and he is a student at the University of Rochester majoring in International Relations with a concentration in Policy, Politics, and Development. He is a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Fellow of 2018, a U.S. Department of State flagship program introduced by former President Barrack Obama to groom young African leaders. While at the CDCR, Mohammed will be working as a UofR Urban Fellow to implement an "Urban Village" project in the Charlotte neighborhood. He is so thrilled to be interning with the CDCR where he will get to learn more about the city of Rochester, and urban development and planning.
Paolo Blanchi is a third-year Environmental Design major at the University at Buffalo. He has lived in Rochester since 2010, having lived in Italy and Lithuania before that. He loves exploring new cities and their unique urban environments. He's thrilled to be part of the CDCR team this summer and hopes to do his part in giving back to the Rochester community. When he's not working or studying, he can be found cooking in his kitchen or at Durand Beach with his friends.
Building the Equitable City: A Resource Guide
Curated by the CDCR & Rochester Community
We compiled a variety of resources to assist our thinking about issues of race, equity, and the ongoing construction of a city of fairness and justice. Since this is an ever-evolving and multi-faceted area of work, we have opted to make it a living and communal document; that means we graciously welcome comments and additions to what we have curated thus far and will continue to make our own updates, too.
This month, we suggest that you check out Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk, "The danger of a single story."
Local & Notable:
Shawn Dunwoody & Suzanne Mayer of Hinge Neighbors, Image Credit: Mustafa Hussain
Can Removing Highways Fix America's Cities?

The New York Times published an article about the work being done on Rochester's Inner Loop, featuring many familiar voices. "Built in the 1950s to speed suburban commuters to and from downtown, Rochester's Inner Loop destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, replacing them with a broad, concrete trench that separated downtown from the rest of the city. Now, the city is looking to repair the damage."

Check this out:
Image Credit: Queer x Design
Queer Spaces: LGBTQ Voices and Resources
for Architects and Designers

It's Pride Month! Metropolis caught up with queer leaders in architecture and design, and put together some resources on topics that concern the LGBTQ community. "We hope this helps you all reflect on your professional practice and how it can better reflect and improve the lives of people." Though this compilation is technically from last year, the contents remain applicable.

See what our friends are doing:
Friday, Jun. 11

It's nearly here! Attend AIA Rochester's Virtual Awards Show on 6/11/21, which will recognize design excellence in our region. The public is invited to vote on a special People's Choice Award; each vote costs $1 and supports the Open Door Mission.

Learn more about the event here & check out the nominated projects
on AIA Rochester's social media (@aiaroc)!

Thursday, Jun. 10 | 6:30pm-7:30pm | Zoom

Join C4 for a facilitated Q&A session with 2021 Democratic Mayoral Candidates, Lovely Warren and Malik Evans. The evening will be focused on Center City with topics including downtown improvements, concerns, enhancements, and responsibilities. The event will be followed by a virtual networking opportunity.


Friday, Jun. 18 - Sunday, June 20 | Anywhere you'd like!

A virtual 5K! Choose your own route and then take it at your convenience -- indoor or outdoor, alone or with friends, all at once or broken up into chunks. Registration fee is $20 and directly supports the preservation of wildlife habitat, protection of local farms, and connections to nature in the community.


In April, Reconnect Rochester surveyed all candidates for Rochester Mayor and City Council to learn where they stand on issues related to transportation and mobility. The results have been published as a blog. Be sure to check it out before the Democratic Primary on June 22.