DRI Round 5 Wrap-Up!

New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), led by the New York State Department of State, is a cornerstone of the State’s economic development program which transforms downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that offer a high quality of life and are magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity. Highland Planning worked on seven separate $10-million DRI awards (Buffalo, Rochester, Newark, Tannersville, Endicott, Tupper Lake, and Massena) as part of consultant teams for DRI Round 5 in 2022. In each community, Highland Planning engaged the public to identify community needs and opportunities, solicit ideas for development, and get feedback on proposed projects.


Highland Planning’s tasks included preparing public engagement plans, hosting three virtual and in-person public meetings per community, supporting Local Planning Committee meetings, and preparing communications materials such as press announcements, Facebook posts, flyers, and handouts. For the Newark DRI, Highland Planning set up and maintained a website at www.newarkdri.com. In Endicott and Tannersville, we used our proprietary public engagement app, Instant Input, to survey the community on potential projects. In addition, Highland Planning held innovative, engaging pop-up events, including a Twinkie roast at a ski event in Tupper Lake, a prize giveaway at Dyngus Day in Buffalo’s Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, and a one-on-one engagement at a high school musical in Massena. All work was accomplished during the five-month period from February to July 2022.


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