FUTURE OF SMALL CITIES: High Watermarks, Reimagining the Urban Waterfront

Man with microphone

FUTURE OF SMALL CITIES. Season 1: Garage Talks is a dynamic new series of keynote lectures and masterclasses that will explore issues of urbanism, community, and climate change. Each event feature a nationally-recognized speaker presenting case studies of urban problem solving in action. The Garage Talks series will culminate in a forum around public art in cities and produce a visually-rich publication documenting the yearlong conversation. We at the Troy Innovation Garage had the distinct pleasure of curating and hosting the first of it’s kind on September 19, 2019 we kicked off our first program of a season entitled High Watermarks: Reimagining an Urban Waterfront.

The inaugural Garage Talks event was focused on the city and its waterfront. After years of neglecting their waterfronts, post-industrial cities across the country are finally realizing the value of clean, accessible, vibrant waterways. But who makes the decisions about how a waterfront should be used and what it will look like? In this event we heard from Ray Gastil (former City Planner of Pittsburgh) about the journey of Pittsburgh’s waterfront, as it has transformed from a river on fire to the heart of a revitalized downtown. Several local panelists discussed the challenges and opportunities embodied within the Capital Region’s own relationship to the Hudson River.

crowd gathered listening to presenter

Ray Gastil, Director of Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture

Scott Townsend, Founding Architect, 3t Architects
Michael Finewood, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Pace University
Kristin Diotte, Director of Planning and Development for City of Schenectady

An accompanying series of masterclasses for a select group will extend and deepen the conversation and lead to possible policy suggestions.

Reif Larsen, the 2019-2020 Writer-in-Residence at the Troy Innovation Garage, will host the Garage Talks series.