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Thursday, May 3, 2012 06:05 am

PLANNING THE CITY CORE

Springfield will host seven guests from out of town next week, but they’re not here to see the sights – at least not for the same reason as other tourists. These guests are the Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT), a group of urban planning professionals tasked with finding ways to revitalize Springfield’s central core. The City of Springfield and Downtown Springfield, Inc. received a grant from the American Institute of Architects to help fund the project, which also uses private donations but zero tax dollars. The team will tour the city and talk to residents, business leaders and politicos during its visit from May 7 through May 9. Working out of a downtown building that used to house the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the team will have help from students at Robert Morris University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and University of Illinois Springfield. Victoria Ringer, executive director of DSI, says Springfield was chosen for the project because the city “responded so aggressively” to the recommendations of AIA’s Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team, which visited in 2002. Says Ringer: “They knew this would not be a plan that just sits on the shelf.” The team will hold a public forum starting 6 p.m. May 7 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 South 6th Street. The team’s results will be presented on May 9, also at 6 p.m. at the Hoogland Center. For more information, visit www.sdatspringfield.com.
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