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Sharpening Your Creative Placemaking Craft



A Strategy Lab helps you sharpen your placemaking craft by challenging you to devise strategies to address real issues facing real places.  Hone your problem-solving skills, grow your knowledge of community systems, and expand your toolbox of ideas in this planning studio experience.

The Strategy Lab takes place in the community being served, and encourages you to think more holistically. It’s not just about coming up with project ideas.  You will also be asked to think about potential partnerships, programs and policies to support the strategies.


Unlike a traditional workshop, you learn through a combination of guided facilitation, crowdsourced ideas and dialogues. This helps you get fresh perspectives on community issues and strategies.


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What do creative placemaking, cultural preservation and culture entrepreneurship mean to members of the Greenville, Jersey City community and their partners?


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Whether you are new to creative placemaking, or have been doing this work for a while, you can get a lot from a Strategy Lab.


-Get a more holistic view of communities and better understand place systems.

-Practice design thinking skills. 

-Test the feasibility of your placemaking ideas, and expand your placemaker’s toolbox by learning from your peers.

-Learn a great technique for engaging community members in placemaking.

Strategy Labs at the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

There are four Strategy Labs offered during the in-person part of the Summit, April 21 and 22. Two will be in Schenectady and two in Troy.  As smaller, older cities Schenectady and Troy are useful models for many communities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Energizing Pathways to Downtown Schenectady
Led by Leonardo VazquezCreative Placemaking Communities, South Orange NJ

Thursday, 1:00 - 4:00pm

For this strategy lab we will be looking at the pathways that lead to and from area institutions, restaurants, and businesses to Schenectady City Hall, in the heart of downtown. We will explore the possibilities for how these pathways can become more walkable and feel safer and inclusive for the area's local residents, businesses and visitors.  City Hall is a short walk from Proctor’s theater on a pedestrian street.

Building an Inclusive Creative & Cultural Ecosystem
in Hamilton Hill

Led by
Lorraine Morales Cox, 
Union College, Schenectady NY

Thursday, 1:00 - 4:00pm  

Hamilton Hill neighborhood


In this Strategy Lab, participants will visit several cultural sites and anchor institutions in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood, and meet with community members.  Participants will then go to Electric City Barn to brainstorm strategies for partnerships, projects, programs and policies that can help promote equitable cultural entrepreneurship and ecosystem development that enhances quality of life and can help protect the neighborhood from unwanted displacement.

Building Shared Civic Space in Downtown Troy
Led by John Delconte,
Smallwander, Troy NY

Friday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Franklin Street Alley, Troy


Across the United States, alleys in older downtowns are being transformed into spaces for community gatherings and art activities. That’s relatively easy when the alley is a vacant space.  But what about alleys that also serve as parking and utility spaces for local businesses?  What strategies can help make these types of spaces into places that serve local business owners, residents and visitors equally?

Community Building Against Divisive Infrastructure in Troy
Led by John Delconte
,Smallwander, Troy NY

Friday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Hoosick Street Bridge, Troy


It’s a familiar story:  In the 1970s, a waterfront business district in Troy gets demolished to make way for a highway project.  It became a sharp dividing line between downtown and North Central Troy.  A new project – the Uniting Line – is designed to bridge those gaps. The first project was the Underpass Mural Project. In this Strategy Lab, participants will create strategies to activate several spaces under the overpass, and explore ways to enhance community identity, to advance the work of the Uniting Line project.

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