Survey asks about impact of coronavirus on community
The Community Design Center of Rochester is asking whether the pandemic is making people reconsider where and how they live.
The nonprofit, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities, is conducting a survey asking that and other questions about how Rochesterians are living during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Maria Furgiuele, the center's executive director, said people experiencing less traffic in their neighborhoods because of social distancing guidelines could be open to new ideas about how streets could be used when the pandemic is over.
“A large part of our public space are the streets in our cities and communities,” said Furgiuele. “Can we reclaim some of those streets for other uses? Can they become a better community asset when now that we see that they don’t need to be used exclusively for the car?”
Furgiuele said where we live has a big impact on how we experience the pandemic. She said easy access to products, and services, within walkable neighborhoods make staying in place during emergencies easier.
“We try to advocate for all of those strategies, helping to create neighborhoods that are able to withstand future crises,” said Furgiuele.
She said the design center is adapting to social distancing as well. Its lecture series, Reshaping Rochester, has been postponed while it explores streaming options for its April and May presentations. They’re also planning a monthly online-only series called Placemaking 101 to give people the tools and guidance they need to make their neighborhoods more inviting.