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Could Syracuse's Urban Revitalization Model Travel Elsewhere ?

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John Smith/WAER News

For the past few days, the New York State Urban Council hosted its annual Conference for a look into Syracuse’s Community programs and how new businesses revitalize Urban cities.  The first day led out of town guests on a guided tour through Syracuse. They are city planners and economic developers from all across the State.  Executive Director, Adria Finch gives us a glimpse of what they saw.

“For example on the North Side, they’re really focusing on community revitalization through workforce development programs. Over on the Near Westside of Syracuse, we really learned about place-making and how working with a community through public art and building homes and creating an environment is welcoming to people of all different income levels and how that really forces revitalization throughout the community.” 

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Credit John Smith/WAER News
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John Smith/WAER News
Audience members during a workshop on Tourism Marketing at the NYS Urban Council Annual Conference.

Finch adds that the groups learned about how Syracuse’s community projects can be duplicated with a low budget and just a few people with ideas in their own communities.  The conference is a way to share those ideas.  We often hear from local tourism officials about their goal to bring more tourists to Syracuse.  1,000 Islands International Tourism Council Director Gary DeYoung feels our city has plenty to offer. 

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Credit John Smith/WAER News
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John Smith/WAER News
Gary DeYoung, Director of Tourism, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council

“A lot of things that you see happening in Syracuse such as cultural activities in downtowns.  Increasing event activities, rehabbing buildings like Hotel Syracuse, of course, is a big deal for tourism in Syracuse. Those kinds of things are important to tourism but, they’re also important in making dowtown’s vibrant and I want to talk about how those two goals mix.”

DeYoung says that communities like Downtown Syracuse should not only be attractive for tourism, but also a nice place to live in.  The City has many buildings in the process of being redeveloped for that purpose to increase the amount of downtown residents.