Dave Van Wylen, St. Olaf College professor and Roundtable founder, was the NDDC’s guest at the October Downtown Forum. He presented a summary of the work that architect Bill Johnson has been doing in Northfield since 2009.
From the very first session with Bill, the resulting Conceptual Diagram and Planning Considerations included east-west connections, the river, the “commons” (the central portion of our historic transportation network or the center section of Highway 3 between the railroad tracks and the river), the residential/commercial interface, key gateways, vistas, and developments, and “greening”. It was kind of a view from 10,000 feet.
Subsequent sessions where more of a perspective from 100 feet. The Framework Concepts and Framework Ideas focused on the Q Block, a river park, safe crossing, arts and the library, greening the commons (which was designated as a “Big Idea”), the northern gateway zone, Highway 3’s central section, the southern gateway zone, S. Water Street, 5th Street enhancement, 6th Street river access, and Bridge Square.
The group’s current focus is on taking the thoughts that have emerged to date and sharing their summary of these ideas with others, many of whom were involved in their generation in the first place and some for whom the Framework Plan thinking is new. They are doing this over the next half year or so mostly through conversations with various local groups, boards, and commissions.
They are working on a website that will hopefully be launched sometime in November, but for now it’s probably best to contact Roundtable members. Locally Grown’s Griff Wigley has helpfully posted their “slide show”: http://www.slideshare.net/griffinjay/northfield-frameworkplansept2011