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Westport Hosting ‘Your Downtown’ Charrette, Exhibit To Plan For Future

The Westport Library is coordinating with the Your Downtown campaign by premiering an exhibit titled, “Thinking About Westport’s Future Downtown,” which will continue through Sunday, Sept. 21.
The Westport Library is coordinating with the Your Downtown campaign by premiering an exhibit titled, “Thinking About Westport’s Future Downtown,” which will continue through Sunday, Sept. 21. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport will celebrate its downtown this weekend by holding a series of special events and activities around town.

The "Your Downtown Charrette" will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 to 21, at Town Hall with satellite events held at locations throughout downtown.

A method typically used by architects and urban planners, a “charrette” is a series of collaborative working sessions in which groups of people discuss and draft solutions to address opportunities and challenges. The purpose of the Your Downtown Charrette is to advance the Downtown Master Planning Process into the design and policy-making stage.

The public charrette events and activities will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, rain or shine.

Using the results of the Your Downtown Survey and Downtown Visioning Workshops as a framework for guiding the design process, the charrette will result in design concepts, guidelines and policy recommendations for various aspects of downtown.

As part of the events, the Westport Library is coordinating with the Your Downtown campaign by premiering an exhibit titled, “Thinking About Westport’s Future Downtown,” which will continue all weekend.

The display is located in the Westport Library’s first floor Riverwalk Hallway and on the staircase leading up to the main floor.

The visual representation shows panels filled with quotes and “Word Clouds” of answers to questions from the Your Downtown Survey and comments made during the Your Downtown Visioning Workshops, which took place earlier this summer.

“This exhibit continues the dialogue first started with the Downtown Survey and Visioning Workshops and gives people a chance to read for themselves the many great ideas and opinions gathered during those processes," said Melissa Kane, chair of the Downtown Steering Committee.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

“At this point the town is ready to move into the stage where our design professionals will produce and test design concepts that reflect the results of that initial community engagement. The charrette is that next step,” said Kane.

“The ideas and solutions that arise from the charrette are critical to the formulation of the Downtown Master Plan. We want as many Westporters as possible to help create and weigh in on those solutions. However you are able to participate is welcome and productive: drop by an Open Studio to talk about the issues that are important to you, attend a planning session or join in for the entire intensive two-day design experience.”

Here is the schedule for the charette for Saturday:

  • 8:30 to 9:10 a.m.: Greeting & Overview Presentation
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Open Studio Exhibits
  • 9:20 to 11 a.m.: Hourlong walking tours led by Downtown Steering Committee members and the consultant team.
  • 11:10 to noon: Post-Tour Discussions
  • Noon to 1:20 p.m.: Lunch Break
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Afternoon Panel Discussion of initial design concepts and alternative scenarios for downtown.
  • 3:30 to 6 p.m.: Open Studio Workstations on Downtown Streets, Parks, and Open Space; Anything Downtown; and Parking Clinic

Here is the schedule for the charrette for Saturday:

  • 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Open Studio Exhibits* & Workstations: Open Studio Workstations on Downtown Streets, Parks, and Open Space; Anything Downtown; and Parking Clinic
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Closing Presentation

For more information, visit the website .

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