In Conversation Local News

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Experts in city planning, design and architecture gathered in Louisville this week for the 27th Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). Two industry leaders and presenters at the event spoke on WFPL’s In Conversation about their work and how urbanism can build neighborhoods in an inclusive, responsible way.

Our guests were:

  • Doug Farr, Architect and Founder of Farr Associates
  • Hazel Borys, Principal and Managing Director of PlaceMakers

Doug Farr is the founder of Farr Associates, a Chicago-based architecture and urban design firm. He said Congress attendees gather ideas and spread them to other cities like worker bees.

“Each of those cities is a laboratory for us — it teaches us,” Farr said. “If this many passionate and informed town planners, and developers and elected officials come to your city, we’d like to leave it better off.”

Attendees give back to host cities through CNU Legacy Projects, which offer free planning for proposals from organizations in that city. Louisville’s legacy projects studied design changes along Woodlawn Avenue in the Beechmont neighborhood, the 18th Street corridor in the Russell neighborhood, the West Main and Market Street corridors in the Portland neighborhood, and areas along Beargrass Creek.

Placemakers Managing Director Hazel Borys was involved with the Beechmont project. Placemakers is a planning, marketing and implementation firm. She said listening to the community helped guide the project, and giving back to neighborhoods is important for urbanism.

“We were able to address [Louisville’s legacy projects] in an open, inclusive way,” Borys said. “The community came back in and told us what we got right and then helped us with many things that needed to be tweaked slightly to be more reflective of their vision.”

Join us next week for In Conversation as we talk about industrial hemp.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.