Friday, April 25, 2014
8:30 am - 3:00 pm

The Lyceum Center
227 Lawrence St
Hartford, CT 06106
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Communities across the country are thinking outside the box and implementing new tools and strategies to invigorate their downtowns and Main Streets. Leaders from Connecticut and New York share how successful Placemaking programs are being programmed and managed.

Workshop Agenda

Sessions & Speakers

Whimsy Amongst the Warehouses!
Leslie Zemsky, Director of Fun, Larkin Square, Buffalo, N.Y.

The Larkin Development Group has been renovating a series of Warehouse Buildings, which were once home to the Larkin Soap Company in Buffalo.  Renovations over the past decade include more than 800,000 square feet of office space, over a half mile of new streetscape, and a public gathering space for events called Larkin Square.

This presentation will share the before and after of the rebuilding of the Larkin District (Larkinville), located a mile east of downtown Buffalo.  Leslie Zemsky will share how they have activated the space, which typically draws up to 2,000 people in the warm weather months.  The whole Buffalo region is experiencing a resurgence – attendees will learn how the work in Larkinville connects with what is happening in the region.

Creative Placemaking in Bridgeport
Michael Moore
, Bridgeport BID
Tara Vincenta, ASLA, Artemis Landscape Architecture
The Bridgeport DSSD has adopted Creative Placemaking as a strategy for revitalizing downtown Bridgeport and positioning downtown as a local, regional destination for cultural and economic activities.  DSSD initiated this strategy in 2013 by overseeing the beautification and activation of historic McLevy Green.

In partnership with the City of Bridgeport, State of CT DECD, and the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, the DSSD is implementing multiple Placemaking Pilot Projects, including an Art Trail, Annual Arts Fest, City Canvass program, B Squared (Downtown Bridgeport 2nd Thursdays), CreateHereNow Storefronts and the Downtown Chess Program.

Interactive Placemaking Lunch catered by The Whey Station food truck!

Placemaking Activity with Norwalk 2.0
(This file is very large.  To obtain a copy, please email
Maribeth Becker, Chief Dot Connector
Jackie Lightfield, Chief Problem Solver
Norwalk 2.0 has been making places in downtown Norwalk for the past couple of years – and bringing people back to Main Street (or Wall Street!).  They will put their creativity on display by “making a place” at The Lyceum! Our interactive lunch will be followed by a placemaking activity and brief presentation by the energetic and creative ladies from Norwalk 2.0.  Maribeth and Jackie live by the lighter, quicker, cheaper approach to creating great places for all ages.

Margaret Bodell, CreateHereNow Project Manager, CT Office of the Arts
Margaret Bodell is helping communities think about their first floor commercial spaces in entirely new ways. She hopes to bring old storefronts back to life – and to bring life back to the streets of downtowns and Main Street throughout Connecticut. Her message is that downtowns will never be what they used to be, and we need to start thinking creatively about new possibilities.