“The goal is to figure out what people want,” says Mary Miltimore, Senior Community Planner and Designer for Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc., a planning firm hired by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to develop an implementable plan that will guide the future of Southpoint Park and the Smallpox Hospital for the next ten years as part of a project called Community Plan for Southpoint Open Space. The genesis for this project is the change on either side of Southpoint Park, now Cornell Tech to the north and Four Freedoms to the south. The project team is seeking an opportunity to enhance Southpoint open space and ensure it continues to be a key resource for the entire Roosevelt Island community.
“If people want it to stay exactly the same, we want to know that,” Miltimore said, explaining that ultimately the “commitment will be put in writing and used to make funding decisions for the next ten years.”
So far the feedback has been “really great,” Miltimore shared. She said that each pop-up thus far has attracted at least 100 people, and clarified that the 100 number does not include the folks who she chatted with but who did not participate in the interactive visioning activity coordinated by her team.
The next pop-up meeting is today, Roosevelt Island Day, June 11. Representatives from the Project Team will be located at Good Shepherd Plaza and Blackwell Park. After this next pop-up meeting, the online survey will go live. Miltimore’s reasoning for the many different approaches is that “not everyone likes to come to meetings,” and “we want to give people a variety of different ways to speak their minds.”
The first charrette will take place on Saturday, July 23, and will last all day. Miltimore says, “It’s a chance to roll up our sleeves and discuss the results of the three pop-ups,” and the purpose will be to get more specific. It will be interactive and include a walking tour, site visit, and will be a “roll-up-your-sleeves working session open to all.” The goal is inclusivity and she encourages people to RSVP to information which will be posted soon.