Buffalo, New York
In partnership with Project for Public Spaces, Steve led a community visioning process to develop a programming, design, and management framework to transform the DL&W Terminal into a vital anchor for Canalside and the broader Buffalo Waterfront district. Now largely closed off from public view and access, the DL&W Terminal can become an inclusive place where the arts, food, and music bring people together in a unique multi-use gathering place for the region. This community outreach process and framework plan represents the first step in making a catalytic investment into the Terminal that will help spur new development around the station, build transit ridership, and create a new destination of national significance–another jewel in the crown of Buffalo’s rebirth. The State of New York has committed over $30 million for the restoration and renovation of the terminal. (Rendering: SmartDesign Architecture)
Client: Savarino Companies and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
Place Solutions Group worked with Project for Public Spaces, David O'Neil, and Funchitecture to create a new plan for the Maine Market, transforming a historic complex of industrial buildings into a new public market that will also serve as the heart of a new mixed-use development on the Portland waterfront. Our specific focus was on the layout of a market district, and its public spaces for outdoor markets, a beer garden, cafes, and a wide range of public and private events.
Client: Portland Foreside Development
A new vision for wet markets
In 2011, there was a decision by Hanoi Government to replace markets in the inner city with supermarkets and commercial centers as they thought those to be more “modern.” In response, the HealthBridge Foundation of Canada's local Hanoi office conducted a “Save the Markets” campaign and was successful in changing the government’s decision.
While abandoning this approach, the question still remained: what should happen with the 350 wet markets in central Hanoi and surrounding districts? How can you "modernize" these traditional markets while still retaining their authenticity and core reason for being?
Healthbridge invited Place Solutions Group to come to Hanoi to facilitate local architects in developing design concepts to revitalize three wet markets in the city. Other key partners included the Hanoi Architects Association and a new design center, AGOhub, which gathered over 20 young architects to develop new design approaches to revitalize three "wet" markets in the city—Chau Long Market, Ha Market, and Ngoc Lam Market—and models for others. The market designs developed received widespread attention, and, as a result, the government is developing a new national policy for investing in wet markets. (Photo Credit: CA Architects)
Client: Healthbridge Foundation of Canada
Queens, New York
Under the leadership of the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), Corona Plaza has become a cultural and economic center for the diverse Corona Plaza community since it was created in 2014 by the New York City Department of Transportation. During the pandemic in 2020, Latinx immigrant street vendors seeking economic survival flocked to Corona Plaza. Today, nearly 100 vendors use the sidewalks around the DOT plaza, creating an informal marketplace of prepared foods, produce, flowers, clothing, and other hard goods. QEDC retained Place Solutions Group to conduct surveys of Corona Plaza users, vendors, and storefront businesses and create a community-based vision for the plaza and improve its attractiveness and functionality for vending, cultural, and other public uses.
Client: Queens Economic Development Corporation
Athens Farmers Market
Athens, OH (2018-20)
Established in 1972, the Athens Farmers Market is an economic engine for the city, with some 100+ vendors in peak season. Working with Project for Public Spaces, we evaluated the feasibility of relocating the market from a shopping center parking lot to a more community-friendly and affordable location at the Athens Community Center. The location already featured covered parking with solar panels that could be used for the Saturday market. We also developed plans for a multi-use shed and other public space improvements to enhance the market as a community destination.
Client: AceNet, Athens, OH
National Market Policy Report for Vietnam (2022)
This report identifies opportunities to change national policy in Vietnam to leverage the economic, social, and health benefits that markets bring to urban and rural areas. Policies of global institutions, as well as national, provincial, and local governments of other countries, are presented to illustrate the potential for Vietnamese markets in the future.
Client: Healthbridge Foundation of Canada