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Heart of the City: Peace Plaza Vision

PlanScape Impact(s): Arts & Culture ; Best Practice ; Civic Engagement ; Economic Development
Last modified: June 30, 2017 Public Report From Heart of the City Peace Plaza Public Realm



Med City Reporting

"A central focus of the planning effort thus far has been how to foster and maintain vibrancy in the Heart of the City, one of six sub-districts outlined in the original development plan. That means having the art, retail, food offerings and programming necessary for generating activity 365 days a year."


KTTC Reporting


1. Create flexibility and activation at Peace Plaza:

"One of the things now is there is a real separation between people in the Gonda [Building] and Peace Plaza. So we take that lower level of the Gonda and extend it out and build a giant staircase so that people can walk up and down between Gonda and Peace Plaza," Coen explained. "In the middle of the staircase is a passageway that goes into a lower level that's connected to the James Turrell art installation. So the community and patients can gather either in the lower level or the upper level. And then, that white circle [of the art installation] changes color as the sky gets dark at night, and you view the sky through it."

2. Change 1st Avenue Southwest to resemble a giant plaza. The street would be at the same level as the sidewalk, so there would be no curb. The benches, trees and lights would define where people would drive and walk. Coen said it would be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible and pedestrian friendly.

3. Connect people with nature and promote healing by planting gardens along 2nd Avenue Southwest next to the Gonda building.

4. Establish a Theatre Square, an extension of the Chateau Theatre for performances outdoors.

5. Install world-class art.

Coen said another goal for Heart of the City is to create a world-class destination that still retains Rochester's identity.

"So if you go inside the Gonda Building right now, [there] is incredible quality and there are incredible art and materials in there. And so the idea is to take that legacy and extend it outside into Peace Plaza, into Theatre Square, and to create a place outside that brings the patients and the community together," Coen said. "There are also three million people that travel under in the subways and on the skyways that don't really -- a lot of them don't get outside. And so we're trying to pull them up."





PlanScape Impact(s): Arts & Culture ; Best Practice ; Civic Engagement ; Economic Development
Last modified: June 30, 2017 Public Report From Heart of the City Peace Plaza Public Realm

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  • For the commercial sector, we tend to register startup activities (new companies and new commercial projects) that bring diversification and high-impact opportunities to the area.
  • For the non-profit sector, we wish to shine light on all the organizations and services that otherwise labor under relative obscurity.
  • Our hope is that will encourage cross-sector collaborations and creative solutions.

While there are a number of registries in the community,'s  distinct value is to pilot a database with a data structure and categorizations that answer the questions such as: What organizations or projects/programs in our community that have purported relevance with some of the over-arching focuses put forward by initiatives such as DMC, J2G and Health Improvements?

This database could be used as one of the ways to explore the capacities of the community. If you are someone on an exploratory journey to learn about the greater Rochester community. could be an interesting first step.

The following defines the various project phases:
  1. Available - a product, program or service is in production
  2. Develop - program or application is being developed
  3. Plan - idea is solid, stakeholders are identified, and there is strong commitment to go forward from all parties.
  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.
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