In July, Barbara Wilks joined the Mayor's Institute on City Design in Santa Rosa California for its first Alumni Technical Assistance Program. She was one of three resource team members who participated, along with the City's top elected officials, and members of the local arts, business, business, and philanthropic communities, in a three day working session focused on Downtown Santa Rosa. The other resource team members were Lee Bey, executive director of the Chicago Central Area Committee, and David Dixon, director of planning and urban design at Goody Clancy & Associates in Boston.
The program culminated with a televised presentation at City Hall of their recommendations, ideas, and observations on how to enhance the quality of life in Santa Rosa by means of design.
The presentation included a recommendation to concentrate investments in the downtown core, and to extend the connectivity of 4th Street's pedestrian character through the Santa Rosa Plaza Mall. They also discussed leadership and policy issues, as well as strategies for implementing their proposals, and funding mechanisms the city could take advantage of. More than 70 city residents were in the audience for the presentation, and engaged in a Question and Answer session at the end.
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