Community Design Center News                                                                March 2021

Lecture Series Kicks Off

Thank you to all who attended our kickoff of the 2021 Lecture Series last week with Sara Bronin (DesegregateCT)! Her webinar presentation "Zoning for Equity" had well over 100 attendees and helped us unpack the intersection of zoning reform, land use challenges in post-industrial cities, and our 2021 theme of Building a Just Community. She was incredibly knowledgeable and attendees appreciated how she tied her own Hartford experience to Rochester. Interestingly enough, the New York Times published an article featuring Sara Bronin and DesegregateCT just two days later!

We also hosted a follow-up Community Conversation with the City of Rochester's Jill Wiedrick (Manager of Zoning) and Kevin Kelley (Associate City Planner) to further connect Sara Bronin's lecture to the local context, and particularly how it intersects with Rochester's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Alignment Project.

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

Join us for our upcoming Reshaping Rochester lecture with Nidhi Gulati!

Transport and Mobility

Nidhi Gulati
Former Senior Director of Programs & Projects at Project for Public Spaces | Fontainebleau, France

March 24, 12:00pm
Zoom Webinar


March is Women's History Month

Article Author, Tatum Lau (AECOM Senior Urban Designer)
Image Credit: D Magazine

How Racial and Gender Equality are Critical for
Building Climate Resilience

"Last year's events provided a stark reminder of the inextricable link between the climate crisis and racial injustice. It is clear that Women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) bear every crisis's largest burdens. Going forward, it is critical to involve these groups if we are to develop effective solutions."


ASLA Launches #Woman2Woman Social Media Campaign for Women's History Month

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has launched a new social media campaign to celebrate Women's History Month that aims to connect woman practitioners in all stages of their respective careers while showcasing woman-led projects and prompting honest conversations about successes, and challenges, experienced by female landscape architects.


Helen Ellwanger, Founder of the Landmark Society of Western New York

Women in Preservation & Design: Local Virtual Class!

On March 11th, celebrate some of the femme figures who have made their mark on our cities, neighborhoods, and small towns. From nationally known figures like Louise B. Bethune (America's first professional female architect), to local icons like Helen Ellwanger (who founded the Landmark Society of Western New York, one of the nation's earliest preservation organizations), this class will explore the preservationists, urbanists, architects, and other designers who have shaped the built environment. This event is hosted by Rochester Brainery and led by the Young Urban Preservationists.


Leticia Blaya Fornataro, AIA, LEED AP B+C, AIA Rochester WiA Spotlight
Image Credit: SWBR

AIA Rochester Spotlights Women in Architecture

This month, AIA Rochester launched their Women in Architecture (WiA) series with Leticia Blaya Fornataro (Senior Associate with SWBR). Keep an eye on the organization's social media @aiaroc to learn more about the successful women in our region each week!

Check this out:

Image Credit: Visit Rochester

Three Transformational Rochester Development Projects

"Rochester has deep roots in entrepreneurship. After all, it was right here in Rochester that global brands like Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb got their start. These businesses all shaped the growth of our community in one way or another. Today, that innovative spirit continues to shine through in key development projects that are poised to transform Rochester's future.

"With new housing, new residents and new businesses popping up every day, downtown Rochester is on the move. But, there are three transformational projects on the horizon that will have a long-lasting impact on downtown Rochester."

See what our friends are doing:

Thursday, Apr. 1

Submit your project by 4/1/21! Before being declared "essential" at the start of the pandemic, Rochester's architectural community knew that the important task of building communities could not come to a standstill. It is in tribute to their spirit of perseverance that AIA Rochester adopted this year's theme, "Keep Calm & Design On."


AARP, in partnership with CNU, has published the new report on zoning reform to create more walkable communities - Enabling Better Places: A Handbook for Improved Neighborhoods. Danielle Arigoni (director of the AARP Livable Communities initiative), Fred Buzo (Associate State Director of AARP CA), Kelly Stoddard-Poor (Director of Outreach of AARP VT), and Mallory Baches (Director of Strategic Development at CNU) will discuss key takeaways from report and explore the relationship between land use regulatory reform and age-friendly communities.


Seeking grantees! The Landmark Society's Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization (GVRR) Grant application is officially open. GVRR supports historic restoration and rehabilitation projects throughout rural communities in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. Specifically, the grant program offers $5,000-$50,000 reimbursable, unmatched sub-grants for eligible historic buildings to preserve the historic places that have shaped rural communities, their social fabric, and economy.