In January 2018, Street Plans and partner Graffito SP (retail leasing firm based in Boston, MA) were hired by Wexford Science + Technology to execute placemaking studies in five cities in which the company is developing “innovation communities”. The consultant team took this scope of work a step further by setting out to create placemaking plans for each of the districts in the five cities: Baltimore, Providence, Philadelphia, Miami, and Chicago. In addition to evaluating each district for its potential retail, placemaking, and programming opportunities, Street Plans and Graffito SP committed to deeper dives into each community that would produce an actionable menu of projects that could be implemented within a year following the completion of the first phase of work. With a heightened focus on a local approach to each site, and armed with a toolbox of creative retail and placemaking strategies, Street Plans and Graffito SP ensured that the final deliverable would be actionable, and reflect principles of good urban design.
The consultant team took two site visits to each city, and met with Wexford’s partners, local organizations, entities already executing programming at or surrounding the sites, and established connections with potential new partners that could be brought on in a second phase of work to execute the projects proposed by the consultant team. In addition to these meetings, Street Plans and Graffito SP evaluated each site for its pedestrian safety and access, connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood and to multiple modes of transportation, legibility, and vibrancy, and developed five projects for each city that would address either the challenges or goals identified for each site. The projects were laid out and described in separate chapters for each city, including potential partnerships, a budget, the team’s evaluation of the strengths of each project, and most importantly: the steps that could be taken immediately to execute the project.
The document so clearly made a strong case, and laid out a path to execution, for the projects, that Wexford brought the consultant team on for a second phase of work. This summer, Street Plans deepened its communication with the partners it had identified in the first phase, and advanced agreements with these partners to execute the projects starting in the Fall of 2018.