The City of Holyoke has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Conway School of Landscape Design that outlines the mutual goal of both parties establishing an urban design lab in Holyoke. Through working collaboratively on developing the school’s Urban Lab, both parties see the project as an opportunity to advance innovative ecological design and planning, while also providing greater service to communities throughout the valley. Check out the City of Holyoke and Conway School Urban Lab memorandum of agreement here.
One of the first project’s the Lab is working on is a Placemaking Idea Book for the Holyoke Innovation District (HID), whereby they will identify best practices and concepts that can help create more vitality in the district, allowing residents to make innovative ideas brought to life. The design team is asking Holyoke residents, businesses and other parties with interest in the City to help the process by answering a few simple questions in this Placemaking Survey.
That the Conway School will focus on Holyoke and surrounding urban areas in developing an Urban Lab that will:
1. Partner with local businesses (including mill building owners), agencies, and other organizations to complete major graduate student planning and design projects in and around Holyoke, bringing expertise in areas such as urban design and planning, placemaking, and community development. 2. Provide funded fellowships (grants) for selected residents and others interested in working in urban areas like Holyoke who would enroll as Conway graduate students. 3. Offer educational activities to the public, such as workshops and other interactive learning, conducted by Conway personnel as well as national and international experts. 4. Feature Holyoke in our messaging about urban innovation to the broader world. 5. Offer interns and apprentices to the community as our students graduate.
That the City of Holyoke will:
1. Suggest public or private design and planning projects appropriate to Conway. 2. Collaborate in seeking funding for projects of mutual benefit. 3. Engage with faculty and students over important planning, design, and conservation issues, thinking of Conway as a kind of staff extension. 4. Help connect Conway to relevant community organizations and individuals 5. Help promote Conway’s activities in the city through word of mouth, emails, website, promotional material etc.