We cannot discount the countless hours of conversations, research and planning that have gone into molding the Innovation Quarter into what it is today. However, a few grounding principles have been critical to realizing our placemaking vision and goal to create a welcoming public space for all.
Our placemaking process is rooted in the community. Effective strategies start by identifying physical, economic and networking assets within a community. We turn and return to the perspectives and insights of those who will eventually use our spaces to inspire the entire Innovation Quarter. Tapping into this information allows us to:
- capitalize on existing assets,
- address the unmet needs of a place and
- create a sense of community ownership.
Partnerships Driving Public Spaces
We know that partnerships have been critical to the Innovation Quarter’s development, and they will continue to provide support for future public spaces. Whether we’re leaning on local individuals, anchor institutions or regional organizations, bringing people together across disciplines and sectors creates the best environment for creating practical, equitable placemaking solutions within our community.
For instance, a partnership with the City of Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Rail Division helped bring the Long Branch Trail to fruition. Thanks to these relationships, the Winston-Salem community has a greenway that gives pedestrians and cyclists a safe place to exercise and provides greater connectivity throughout the city via other thoroughfares.
Continuously Learning and Improving
We strive to influence everyday lives through our public spaces. To do that, we must remain agile in our approach to placemaking. From short-term experiments that can be refined over time to general maintenance that preserves existing spaces, we’re always looking for ways to improve. As community needs change, new perspectives arise and opportunities present themselves, we must continuously learn, adapt and respond to this evolution.
Inclusive Placemaking Values Guiding Our Vision
The celebration of diversity, people and partners within the Innovation Quarter results in quality spaces that contribute to the community’s overall health, happiness and wellbeing. We aim to preserve the character of downtown Winston-Salem while improving accessibility, connectivity and safety for our visitors. We manifest our placemaking vision through the community informing us, partnerships supporting us, and an agile mindset driving us.