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City of Rochester

Project Green

project-green7Imagine a city where neighborhoods are built around parks and gardens, where building walls and rooftops are alive with vegetation; where tree-lined streets encourage commuters to ride their bikes or take a walk.

This is the vision of Project Green, a bold plan that would change the look and feel of Rochester by replacing vacant properties
with vast swaths of green space. It’s a plan that recognizes Rochester’s built environment – our buildings, streets and
public utilities – no longer match our population trends. 

Over the next 20 years, more than three dozen city blocks will
be converted into a “green infrastructure” of open space that can be used for such purposes as community gardens, urban farms, parks and renewable-energy generating facilities. These green spaces will be connected by a network of pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly “green corridors” that will further enhance Rochester’s exceptional quality of life. Other elements of Project Green include the installation of roof-top gardens, historic preservation, focused investment and strategic development of the city’s downtown and waterways.

Project Green is an opportunity to shape Rochester’s future – an opportunity to grow the city in the right direction. View the final report here.

Project Background:

Substantial work has been done to develop strategies to address the problem of vacant properties and structures in the City of Rochester. A variety of inter-departmental teams have identified strategies to inspect vacant properties, secure vacant properties, demolish city and privately owned vacant properties, market vacant land for economic and housing development, and transform vacant land into “green” assets. The goal of this team is to develop an implementation plan that would utilize these existing strategies to maximize the impact on public safety and economic and neighborhood development.

Project Scope:

The project scope will include:

1) Evaluate the need to Demolish City-Owned Properties:

  • Identify City-owned properties on the demolition list that will be demolished by June 2010 as well as the the funding needed to demolish the remaining properties after June 2010, including properties expected to be acquired through foreclosure in early 2010.

2) Estimate the annual budget need for Emergency Demolition and Contingency

3) Evaluation of the demolition of the vacant properties in the poorest condition:

  • Identify the properties in poorest condition in the City of Rochester
  • Prioritize the need to demolish the list
  • Estimate the cost for demolition
  • Identify methods for demolition (private demo hearing, acquisition/demotion, other)

4) Evaluation for First Phase of Project Green:

  • Brainstorm potential small, medium and large areas for Project Green
  • Evaluate the potential reuse options for each of the potential Project Green areas
  • Develop selection criteria for prioritizing potential areas
  • Research each area to identify current status of properties and estimate costs
  • Establish a process for rating and ranking potential areas for selection

5) Identify Project/Development Related Strategic Demolition Opportunities:

  • Identify strategic properties to be demolished near existing development projects and programs

The goal of the project will be to take the information gathered and develop an implementation plan that balances the variety of goals established. 

Next: Project Green - Phase I 

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