An ongoing placemaking initiative in San Juan's Santurce district
CivicMoxie Founder and Principal, Susan Silberberg, advised the Foundation for Puerto Rico on its long-term placemaking initiative in Santurce, Puerto Rico from 2013 - 2016. Santurce is a district of San Juan with 90,000 residents and over five square miles. The former “downtown” for the entire island, it has seen significant disinvestment in the last half century but still retains a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a considerable number of hotels in Condado and Miramar, and a growing “foodie” culture that has drawn top chefs and immigrant entrepreneurs.
ImagineSanturce is the initiative of the Foundation for Puerto Rico whereby the foundation and its consultants, including Susan Silberberg of CivicMoxie, worked with multiple citizens and organizations committed to the economic and social transformation of the district. The initiative is an open source meeting space that seeks to foster dialogue, collaborations, and action to achieve urban revitalization that is sustainable, equitable and inclusive. Susan introduced the notion of placemaking at a Foundation-sponsored workshop in November 2013. Since that time, the community has met monthly, formed working groups around economic development, vacant buildings, arts and culture, safety and transportation, and other issues and has identified ways it can act to improve lives and the built environment. As part of the initiative, Susan led an MIT graduate planning workshop on an economic and urban design revitalization strategy for the core of the district, along Ponce de Leon Avenue. The result was a framework to highlight and market the arts and food destinations and culture in the district, and a plan for a long-vacant City-owned building on the corridor that includes food markets and entrepreneur space.
Arts and culture, community engagement, community revitalization, downtown / district plan, placemaking, urban design