Hartford Wins “Walk Friendly” Designation

The city of Hartford has just won a Silver-level “Walk Friendly City” designation from Walk Friendly Communities (WFC), a national organization devoted to promoting urban walkability. Hartford is the first city in Connecticut to win the designation at any level, and its Silver rating puts it in the company of such walkable cities as Burlington, Philadelphia and Santa Monica. The designation is good for five years from 2018-2023, and can be be renewed upon application. WFC cited the iQuilt Plan (designed by Suisman), along with the city’s robust Complete Streets policy, zoning code, regional bike initiatives and comprehensive plan, as ... Continue Reading

Third Street Promenade Fountain Renovations Underway

The renovation of the beloved dinosaur fountains on the renowned Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica has begun. Led by the City of Santa Monica and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and designed by Suisman Urban Design, the refresh of the twenty-five year old fountains will provide physical improvements and update their appearance to blend in with Suisman’s recent update of the street’s overall look and furnishings. Repairs of the concrete basins and curved edges, a technical challenge, will be followed with the installation of new blue tile and lighting. ... Continue Reading

ASLA Merit Award to Bushnell Park North

The American Society of Landscape Architects has presented the City of Hartford with a Merit Award for Bushnell Park North, the half-mile complete street and urban promenade designed by Suisman’s multidisciplinary team. Bushnell Park North is the signature project of the iQuilt Plan, the award-winning urban design master plan for downtown Hartford.

Beginning in 2008, Suisman and its team spent two years creating the iQuilt Plan, which was adopted by the City of Hartford in 2011. In 2012, Suisman helped the City applied for and win a highly competitive Federal TIGER grant for $10 million, much of it earmarked for ... Continue Reading

Burlington’s City Hall Park Design Wins Preliminary Approval

The redesign of downtown Burlington’s landmark City Hall Park took a significant step forward when the Burlington Design Advisory Board voted 3-1 to approve the project and forward it to the Development Review Board. Suisman Urban Design is leading the design team and serving as master planner and architect. The park’s landscape design is led by Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architects of Burlington. The park’s redesign is being carried out in conjunction with the Suisman’s team work on Great Streets BTV Design Guidelines and the redesign of Main Street. The project is overseen by Burlington’s departments of Public Works, City Planning, ... Continue Reading

Bushnell Park South Master Plan Moves Forward

Suisman continues to lead the master planning effort, on behalf of the Capital Region Development Authority, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and major property owners, to transform acres of surface parking lots next to the Bushnell and the State Office Building into a vibrant cultural district. The area, dubbed “Bushnell Park South”, is included in Suisman’s iQuilt Plan, which called for mixed-use housing and retail, a new public park, and wider sidewalks with street trees and green infrastructure.

In a recent interview with the Hartford Courant, CRDA Executive Director outlines the vision and the progress to date: New ... Continue Reading

Downtown Burlington Street Design Standards Published

The draft of the new street design standards for Downtown Burlington has just been made available to the public on the project website, Great Streets BTV. Suisman has been leading the team developing the standards for the City of Burlington. The team includes: Suisman Urban Design (lead), Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, DuBois & King Engineers, Domingo Gonzales Associates, Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architects, and Urban Rain Design, and Third Sector Associates.

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Bushnell Gardens Final Conceptual Design Gets a Green Light

The Board of Directors of the iQuilt Partnership has approved Suisman’s design for Bushnell Gardens, a new 1-acre public space in the heart of Downtown Hartford. The Gardens are a centerpiece of the iQuilt Plan, designed by Suisman and adopted by the City of Hartford in 2011. The Bushnell Gardens design was reviewed and endorsed by nearby stakeholders at Bushnell Towers, Center Church, Travelers Insurance, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Construction documents will be prepared in the spring of 2018, and construction is expected to be completed in 2019. The garden space is an extension of historic Bushnell Park, connecting it ... Continue Reading

New Vancouver Campus Opens for Emily Carr University of Art + Design; Suisman Created the Urban Design Framework and Helped Secure $110m from the Province

Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Canada’s pre-eminent art school, has just opened its new, $122 million campus in Vancouver. The opening celebration capped the nearly 10 years of planning and design required to relocate ECUAD from its long-time downtown campus on Granville Island, which the school had outgrown, to a large industrial site that was the former home of manufacturer Finning International. In late 2012, well into the planning process, ECUAD President Ron Burnett reached out to Suisman Urban Design to help solve a problem: ECUAD leaders were unhappy with the proposed campus site plan. Suisman was asked, ... Continue Reading

“My Boulevards” – Doug Suisman’s Essay Published in UCLA’s BOOM California Magazine

Doug Suisman’s personal and moving essay about his lifelong experience in cities and public spaces has just been published in the Spring 2016 issue of BOOM California. The online magazine is published by the University of California Press. The issue was guest edited by the outstanding urban observer Colin Marshall. His Notebook on Cities and Culture is one of the best urban blogs around. ... Continue Reading

Doug Suisman Reviews “Sustainable Cities” at USC

 

Bill Fain and Doug Suisman review projects for downtown Los Angeles

Bill Fain and Doug Suisman review projects for downtown Los Angeles in the joint USC / Washington U. studio

Doug Suisman joined USC architecture students and guest jurors for the 2016 final reviews of the “Sustainable City” studio, organized jointly by USC’s Andrew Liang and Washington University’s Linda Samuels. ... Continue Reading

Gold Street / Bushnell Promenade Construction Races Towards November Completion

Gold St. construction May 2016

Construction of Horace Bushnell Promenade along Hartford’s Gold Street

Hartford’s one-mile GreenWalk is getting closer to completion with the construction of the Horace Bushnell Promenade along Gold Street, which is being realigned and narrowed for the purpose (photo courtesy Christian Lemp). The Promenade and its adjacent Bushnell Gardens will create a one-block connector between historic Bushnell Park and Main Street, linking the park to the Travelers’ Tower Square and the Wadsworth Atheneum. The project will create a continuous park experience, and represents the first expansion of Bushnell Park in 150 years. The green public space will showcase historic Center Church ... Continue Reading

iQuilt Innovation Center Opens in Downtown Hartford

The iQuilt Plan took a different step towards realization today, with the opening of the iQuilt Innovation Center in the heart of downtown Hartford. While the iQuilt Partnership has been making small and large physical improvements downtown for more than five years, it has not had a physical presence on the street. Now, people strolling through Statehouse Square can spot the iQuilt storefront located on Central Row in the Travelers complex (with the space generously donated by Travelers). They can drop into the center and find out about the iQuilt vision, the progress, and the events related to iQuilt. Visitors ... Continue Reading

Doug Suisman on Public Radio about Downtown Hartford’s iQuilt Plan

 Doug Suisman joins key Hartford leaders on WNPR to talk about the ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown Hartford, through the efforts of the State of Connecticut, the City of Hartford, business interests, and cultural institutions, including the iQuilt Partnership:

http://wnpr.org/post/revisiting-rowlands-six-pillars-hartford-development

GUESTS:

  • Norm Garrick – Associate professor of transportation and engineering at the University of Connecticut
  • Tom Condon – Writes about urban and regional issues for the Connecticut Mirror
  • Michael Freimuth – Executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority
  • Doug Suisman – Principal of Suisman Urban Design in Santa Monica, California
... Continue Reading

Doug Suisman Discusses Hartford’s iQuilt Plan on WNPR

iQuilt Plan WNPR Where We LiveDoug Suisman was recently a guest on WNPR’s “Where We Live” to discuss the redevelopment of Downtown Hartford and Suisman’s iQuilt Plan. You can listen here: The popular show, hosted by John Dankosky, included three other distinguished guests:

  • Norm Garrick – Associate professor of transportation and engineering at the University of Connecticut
  • Tom Condon – Writes about urban and regional issues for the Connecticut Mirror
  • Michael Freimuth – Executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority.

You can listen here: http://wnpr.org/post/revisiting-rowlands-six-pillars-hartford-development

  ... Continue Reading