You may soon be living in New York State’s first “EcoDistrict”

You may soon be living in New York State’s first “EcoDistrict”
Future site of the GardenAerial

Future site of the GardenAerial

Being green, this morning I bicycled over to MCC for the Greentopia FUTURES Summit.

As explained to me by one of the Co-Founders of Greentopia, Lewis Stess, today’s conference, Cities of the Future is the first step in a series of initiatives intended to foster a new urban paradigm right here in Rochester.  The goal is to form an approximately 220 acre EcoDistrict roughly bordered by Smith and Broad Streets. The first of its kind in New York State.

As I spoke with Lewis, I quickly began to see his vision. Right now, the swath of the city Lewis wants to regenerate borders on the desolate.  A creeky reminder when Kodak Moments mattered.

Instead, this green district. literally and figuratively a grassroots movement, will not only keep people in Rochester–as business owners, employees and downtown residents–but bring them here.  And do so in an environmentally sustainable way. Perhaps the way Minneapolis draws residents from all over the upper Midwest.

Check out the website for all the details you need on the EcoDistrict, including on the GardenAerial. Greentopia

EcoDistict booth at the Summit. A few minutes later, Channel 13 News filmed me and Michael Philipson, Greentopia Co-Founder talking. See at 6 and 11.

EcoDistict booth at the Greentopia FUTURES Summit. A few minutes later, Channel 13 News filmed me and Greentopia Co-Founder Michael Philipson talking. See at 5, 6 and 11.

I am just here to tell you the next 24 months–as the final plans come to fruition–will be exciting.  I experienced an urban renaissance in Providence, Rhode Island that transformed the town from the so-called “armpit” of New England into a destination city.

In the Summit brochure there was one question always vexing: What is the Rochester ‘cool’ factor and how does this matter?

Discussing the answer, Lewis and I went back and forth on how to characterize Rochester’s “cool.” At the end, Lewis landed on one word: “Rochester is innovative. We always have been. Innovative.”

Innovative works for me.  The innovative Gem of the Genesee.

Try guessing where the featured photo was taken. Note the rusting railroad tracks. I won’t miss them. Many moons later, I still bear an unstitched scar from a misadventure on those tracks. Not a post for another day.

On what makes Rochester “cool”  Pop Quiz at the South Wedge-Ucation

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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