Lima, NY

The first CIRD workshop of 2013 took place in Lima, NY from October 25 -27.  The Village of Lima (population: 2,137), known as the "crossroads of western New York,” with the Rochester Regional Community Design Center and The Landmark Society of Western New York, put together a series of public and professional charrettes--gathering over one hundred architects, planners, Village Mayors, and leaders of non-profits, educational, and religious institutions-- to create a vision plan for their downtown, which is being threatened by sprawl. 

During the two and a half day workshop, participants had the opportunity to listen to and work with a number of dynamic speakers.  Ed McMahon, the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute, talked about the important role that the rural village will play in the future development of our built environment.  Joel Russell, Land Use Attorney and Planning Consultant, spoke about the strategies to successfully implement a community’s vision plan, and Don Macke, the Director of Entrepreneurial Communities at The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, shared the techniques for making communities viable and vibrant.  Rick Hauser, Mayor of Perry, New York, and President of In. Site: Architecture shared Perry, NY as a case study of community entrepreneurism, and Main Street LLC acting as a business model. Tania Werbizky, Regional Director of the Preservation League of New York, spoke on preservation technical assistance grants, and how preservation is connected to economic revitalization.  Peter Fleischer, Executive Director of Empire State Future, explained how New York towns must promote sustainable and equitable community and economic development.

Titling the conference “Saving Our Small Towns and Villages,” Joni Monroe, Executive Director of the Rochester Regional Community Design Center hoped the workshop would “not only help the Village of Lima, but also enhance the effectiveness of small town revitalization planning strategies.”  The workshop produced multiple vision plans for different areas of the Village, with goals for the upcoming charrettes Lima will hold to redevelop their downtown.  The National Association of Realtors® awarded Lima with a $15,000 Smart Growth Grant to help fund the workshop and its outcomes. You can learn more about great work they are doing with the Town of Lima, the Rochester Regional Community Design Center, and The Landmark Society.