Building Strength: Johnstown’s Resilience Accelerator Workshop

Embracing Our Strengths

Renowned landscape architect will present a public lecture: ‘Rivers as Ecological and Economic Engines’

Vision Together 2025 is teaming up with Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Columbia GSAPP) and the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes to host a Resilience Accelerator on October 27-28 at the Bottle Works Arts Center in Johnstown.

The opportunity to partner with Columbia University, one of the world’s leading research institutions, will accelerate our planning efforts as the community through Vision2025 continues to invest and develop Johnstown into a thriving and beautiful place to live and work.

—Ryan Kieta, Vision 2025 coordinator.

The two-day workshop will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a public lecture from Landscape Architect Kate Orff titled “Rivers as Ecological and Economic Engines.” Kate will show work by her award-winning firm SCAPE in helping cities transform their waterfronts. Urban Design students from Columbia will also install an exhibition in the Bottle Works that will show how cities around the world have re-imagined their riverfronts in recent years. The exhibition will be open to the public at 5 p.m. on Sunday, and students will be on hand to discuss the case studies. There is no cost for admission, and R.S.V.P.s are not required.

Kate said she’s looking forward to workshopping with locals on how rivers can serve as an economic engine and help catalyze a green economy.

Large and small cities all over the country are attracting young people and businesses by improving their quality of life, often by restoring the natural environment. Johnstown has great natural areas, hillsides, and rivers.

—Kate Orff

The next morning, Vision 2025 and CRCL will facilitate a workshop with the Johnstown Interagency Taskforce, a planning coalition of 30 federal, state, and local government agencies and community representatives that has met twice annually since 2017 to coordinate resources and investment in the city. Previous workshop topics have included Grant Funding Opportunities, Economic Diversification, and Public Risk Management. The objective of this workshop is to identify and illustrate the city’s current resilience priorities, policies, and projects and to discuss opportunities to collaborate.

At 3 p.m. on Monday, Bottle Works will again be open to the public for a report back from the workshop and conversation about next steps in implementing priority resilience-building efforts in Johnstown. An exhibition of the river city case studies and outcomes of the workshop will remain at Bottle Works for the following two weeks.

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