Improving the places where we live, work and recreate can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. Architects, landscape architects, engineers and many other professionals work on projects, both big and small, that impact people’s lives and lifestyles, as well as seek to enhance the built environment and the character of a place. What can be even more challenging and highly rewarding is working on larger projects that can have positive and lasting impacts on a streetscape, downtown block, or an entire community.
Stevens & Associates (S&A) is an integrated design consulting firm located in Brattleboro, privileged to be working on two such projects in the Greater Keene area. The Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) and Arts and Culture Corridor are feasibility study projects looking not only to improve the built environment, but to have a lasting positive impact on efficiency, character and sense of community throughout the region.
The (ITC) feasibility study is a forward-looking project, which will identify a community desire to have a facility to improve the ability for people to use various modes of transportation. With support from the New Hampshire DOT, S&A is assisting with the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) and community members to explore what services or amenities might be useful to people living in the region, commuters and tourists. These services could not only make transportation easier, but support the use of more efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
From this collaboration and review of data, one or more visions will begin to take shape. The scenarios could be as simple as being able to ride a bike into town and having a place to lock up belongings in order to comfortably walk and shop in the downtown. Other concepts might consider a facility where you could park your car and then catch a bus to another city, or an idea that the project might be something larger providing a multitude of services and connections. All options will be considered and discussed with the SWRPC and community members. With enough interest and support, the study will look at specific potential sites for a project and to prioritize the elements or amenities that might be included.
Another exciting new project is the Arts and Culture Corridor. The Monadnock Economic Development Corporation has engaged S&A and Community Workshop to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed new corridor in downtown Keene. The study will focus on portions of Gilbo Avenue and the railroad lands, looking to enhance the character of the area while also providing substantial support to the growing arts scene in the city. This study will also consider opportunities to provide additional space for artist to live and work, and ways to create a vibrant series of outdoor spaces that will capitalize on the existing merchants and restaurants and new possibilities such as performance spaces, galleries, outdoor exhibit spaces and much more.
Each project will hold public events to communicate goals, share ideas and encourage community participation. The interactive workshops provide drawings or models to help people convey their own vision and what concepts they think would improve the area. Community members are invited to attend these special events, offer their input to help shape the future of Keene and the region.
You can learn more about these projects by visiting http://www.swrpc.org/ITC for the Intermodal Transportation Center or contacting the Monadnock Economic Development Corporation at 603-352-4939 for the Arts and Culture Corridor project.
To learn more about Stevens & Associates,