Starting August 25, our design team joined Dover, Kohl, & Partners Town Planning for several open design sessions to engage the Syracuse community and craft a vision for how the area around the I-81 highway will look once it’s removed.
Since its mid-19th century construction, I-81 has been a negative environmental barrier dividing downtown Syracuse. Earlier this year, New York State announced its approval and budget for the 81 Viaduct Project, which will see the highway removed and replaced with a new Business Loop 81 and an integrated community grid. The NYS Department of Transportation will be transforming I-81 into a surface boulevard, reconnecting downtown with Syracuse University and the medical campus, and working to heal wounds made since its completion.
The City of Syracuse hired Dover, Kohl & Partners to lead a master planning effort to show how the city should grow in a way that won’t displace current residents and still provide needed services and amenities.
As part of the Dover Kohl team, SWBR participated in the charrette where residents were invited to share their ideas directly with the team of planners and designers. The team concluded the initial visioning effort with a community open house on August 27.
This transformational project has the potential to create great public spaces, new business opportunities, and build community. It is about more than transportation, it’s an opportunity to create healthier and more livable city neighborhoods.
In addition to community engagement, SWBR is modelling potential future development scenarios and providing architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture design services for the project.