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Rochester design group 'pushing for people to act'

As a busy year of design, development and Destination Medical Center plans neared a close, a Rochester advocacy group put forward nine ideas to help the city reach its goals.

Design Rochester posted "9 Ideas to Help Implement DMC Visions" on its blog Dec. 15. The post hit home with local professionals in architecture and design, Rochester residents, elected officials and DMC representatives.

The nine points included calls for action, such as establishing a priority for transit-oriented development projects, hiring an urban designer in the city's public works department and quickening the application process for infill development projects.

These are not issues one would typically hear outside professional circles or the inner workings of local government, but Adam Ferrari, director of Design Rochester, hopes to push design and development challenges into the public sphere.

"I think the barriers are a lack of awareness, a lack of knowledge, by the public that these issues are out there," said Ferrari, who was a primary author of the blog post.


Ferrari said he hopes to rattle Rochester's perception that by sitting back, the objectives and goals of DMC plans will come to fruition.

"If we're not proactive and progressive now, we're going to end up reacting and reacting and it's not going to be what we want," he said.

"I'm in the group of people who's pushing. We're pushing for people to act."

The post caught the attention of DMC Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke, who said the agency welcomed these ideas, as well as input from other groups and individuals.

"Throughout the DMC initiative, the level of community engagement and input, it's been just remarkable," Clarke said. "So, to me, this is an example of how that can continue throughout this implementation phase of DMC."

Abe Sauer, a Rochester resident and business owner, shared the blog post on social media. It stressed the importance of a cohesive development strategy, he told the Post-Bulletin.

"I agree with (Design Rochester) that the system Rochester has is just very much all over the place. One development arm doesn't know what the other development arm is doing, necessarily. That leads to development that is never going to reach the goals that you're shooting for, or it's going to do it very inefficiently," Sauer said.

To view the blog post, see designrochester.org/forum .

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