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Urban Design Study     Farmer Forum        

This project was developed for the local Community and Economic Development Board -      R. Dean Randalls, Architect 


      R. Dean Randalls, Architect

The Forum is an ongoing urban design study first started in 2005.  The vision speaks for itself.  

After developing the virtual renderings from concepts expressed at visioning sessions, I began to develop a 3D CAD model of the district,  as it would look fully renewed.  Design concepts included converting abandoned rail line through a blighted area into a vital thriving linear park that might generate new economic development along the corridor,  from new mixed use projects in vacant historic warehouses to new high-density residential and hotel developments. At the center of the district: Farmer Forum, a small conference center.

Even though the excitement generated by the virtual renderings has since been tempered by the recent economic struggles, the vitality and sustainability of the ideas depicted remain the core vision for the area.  


But, as with most long term visioning efforts, plans can, and plans do change.  Unfortunately, several buildings with historic facades have since been demolished due to collapse and fire.   A residential development along Forum Way,  in full development in spring ‘08, has since been put on hold as many of the commitments have since failed.   As well, property rights of the rail spur are still in dispute, and the local economy has been particularly challenged by loss of jobs in the automotive and steel industries…      

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