“Bite-size, affordable pieces that add up to a changed city” is at the heart of the iQuilt and Rick Green’s latest article on courant.com entitled “Hartford’s iQuilt – A Big Idea Where Somebody Needs To Step Up.”Read More
The National endowment for the Arts awards the iQuilt Plan with $150,000 to support the third phase of the iQuilt project, an arts-based economic development plan designed to capitalize on Hartford’s unique heritage and cultural assets. Phase Three includes the design of Bushnell Park North and the inauguration of the Hartford Innovations Festival, an event honoring the wealth of cultural and technological innovations that have origins in Hartford.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the inaugural round of “Our Town” funding, totaling $6.575 million in grants to 51 communities in 34 states that have created public-private partnerships to strengthen the arts while shaping the social, physical, and economic characters of their neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman made the announcement during an online press conference.Read More
Doug Suisman joined Mayor Pedro Segarra, City Councilman Bob Painter, and Mike Zaleski from the Business Improvement District on Dennis House’s “Face the State” on Channel to discuss the iQuilt Plan. http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/tag/doug-suisman/Read More
The iQuilt project in Hartford and the Arc project in Palestine, both designed by Suisman Urban Design, receive Honor Awards by the AIACC.
Los Angeles, 2010 – The American Institute of Architects California Council (AIACC) has awarded two of three coveted 2010 Honor Awards in Urban Design to Suisman Urban Design for its iQuilt project, a culture-based plan for downtown Hartford and the Arc project, a transportation and infrastructure plan for Palestine. Only three Honor Awards in urban design were given by the AIACC jury this year.
The honor award for the iQuilt project also recognizes project partner Smith Edwards Architects, and the project’s initiator and client, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. The iQuilt is a plan to connect some 45 of Hartford’s cultural assets and public spaces with enhanced pedestrian and bike routes running from the State Capitol building and historic Bushnell Park to the Connecticut River waterfront.
Of the AIACC Award for Suisman, Hartford’s mayor Pedro E. Segarra said, “This coveted honor is truly another exclamation point in the ‘bravos’ all around for the iQuilt, which is part of the City’s long-term plan for conservation and development.” The next planning and design phase of this urban plan that features a unique “knitting together” of parks, plazas and walkways is expected to start in early 2011.
The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State, is a transportation and infrastructure plan for Palestine developed by Suisman Urban Design and the RAND Corporation. The Arc establishes a national corridor that would provide swift rail service, roadway, water, power, and parkland for the main Palestinian towns and cities. The corridor – and its lateral branches within each city – would enable the new state to accommodate a fast growing population by expanding urban neighborhoods and housing stock in a coherent and sustainable manner. This would allow private investment and international aid to be efficiently directed towards an integrated national space, rather than towards a costly array of scattered and disconnected projects.
The Arc is also a finalist at November’s World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.Read More
Project is Named Nation’s Top Recipient for Culture-Based Urban Design Grants.
HARTFORD–July 16, 2010–The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that the city of Hartford and the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts have won a national grant worth $250,000 for the iQuilt, a culture-based downtown design plan developed by Suisman Urban Design. Of the 21 cities receiving awards, only four cities received the top award of $250,000. Hartford’s proposal was ranked #1 by the NEA.
The iQuilt, initiated by the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, is a plan to connect some 45 of Hartford’s cultural assets and public spaces with pedestrian and bicycling routes running from the Capitol and Bushnell Park to the river, and then enhance the area with improvements. A major feature merges new and existing public spaces – parks, plazas, walkways – into the GreenWalk, a landscape spine linking Bushnell Park to the riverfront.
The NEA awarded the funding as a part of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative, a program that supports projects in communities across the nation focused on planning, design, and arts engagement programs. In total, the 21 matching grants awarded to cities and community groups across the country amounted to an investment of $3 million on behalf of the NEA. More than 600 cities were eligible to apply, and more than 200 applications were submitted.Read More
Culture-based Pedestrian Plan for Downtown Hartford.
Hartford, March 2010–Doug Suisman and Tyler Smith presented the iQuilt project, a culture-based pedestrian plan for downtown Hartford, to participants at the annual meeting of 1000 Friends of Connecticut, the state’s major “Smart Growth” organization. The conference took place at the former G. Fox Department store on Main Street, now the home of Capitol Community College. The panel began with a presentation by UConn Professor Norman Garrick, who gave an historic overview of downtown’s increasing allocation of land for parking, and its corollary decline in employment. Garrick, who compared this history to Cambridge’s success in limiting parking and expanding employment, called for more pedestrian- and transit-oriented development. The conference’s prime sponsor was the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), which provides water and sewer services to the Hartford region. The iQuilt is spearheaded by The Bushnell, Connecticut’s premier performing arts center, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.Read More
Hartford’s reknowned art museum and performing arts center are keys to a new pedestrian plan for downtown.
Hartford, September 2009–In back-to-back presentations to the trustees of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and the Wadsworth Atheneum, two of Hartford’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, Doug Suisman highlighted the most recent features of the “iQuilt”, the culture-based pedestrian plan for downtown. Envisaged as a loose grid of park-to-river pedestrian routes, the iQuilt aims to weave together Hartford’s key cultural sites and institutions around the theme of cultural innovation in order to promote economic growth and the redevelopment of the Capitol district. The Bushnell and The Greater Hartford Arts Council are co-leading the project, which will complement the ongoing state, city and private sector efforts to revitalize Hartford’s economy and neighborhoods. The planning process for the iQuilt project began in mid-March 2009 with a series of three roundtable discussions between interested stakeholders, community leaders, Suisman, who is a Hartford native, and architect Tyler Smith. A public forum hosted by The Bushnell was held in June where Suisman presented the preliminary vision plan to the community. The planning process will culminate with the development of a culture-based vision for downtown Hartford which will focus on and connect the city’s extensive cultural assets.Read More
Managing Wet Weather With Green Infrastructure.
Hartford, July 2009–Doug Suisman of Suisman Urban Design was invited to Hartford to presents the iQuilt project at the “Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure” workshop held by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The workshop encouraged conversations with national experts, municipal operators, state and federal regulators, as well as design professionals about the benefits and costs of green infrastructure. The iQuilt contains numerous green infrastructure components, including the repaving of the State Office Building parking lot with permeable paving, and surrounding it with new landscaping in bioswales, or stormwater retention beds.
Doug Suisman’s presentation can be seen here.Read More