The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce is working toward making public spaces around the region more user-friendly and pleasant.   

A workshop was scheduled for October 25 at the Broome County Regional Farmer’s Market as the new Placemaking Office at the Chamber works with municipalities to identify community assets and areas to make neighborhoods and public spaces more inviting. 

Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The Chamber of Commerce explains: “Placemaking is a process centered around community engagement deigned to shape public space utilizing the goals, ideas and assets of the people who use it."  The emphasis, the Chamber says, is on people rather than planning around buildings or motor vehicles. 

The key speaker at the workshop was placemaking expert Kady Yellow, who is a former Binghamton resident and current Senior Director of Placemaking and Events for the business improvement district in Jacksonville, Florida. 

The recently formed Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce Placemaking Office is led by Director Jim Reyen.   

Reyen is a life-long Binghamton resident and the founder of the wildly popular Rec Park Music Fest that was recently renamed the Harper Stanz Rec Park Music Fest.  The festival celebrated its 27th year this past summer. 

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The Office of Placemaking plans to work with community members directly as well as working with municipal offices to identify community assets and areas that can be made more open for social gathering. 

Organizers say attendees at the workshop would walk away with information about how to design cities that are catered to people, the importance of lively neighborhoods and inviting public spaces to improve quality of life and pride for all residents, key terms like “power of ten”, “third-place”, “citizen led”, zoning and “complete streets” and the principals of the placemaking principle from pop-up to policy. 

Companies have long looked at quality of life, amenities and attractions for future workers when making economic development decisions.


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