Near Westside Peacemaking Center

Location: Syracuse, New York
Client: Center for Court Innovation
Team: Ashley McGraw, UPSTATE, Near Westside Initiative
Status: Completed 2015
Photos by Revette Studios Inc

The Power of Design

The Near Westside Peacemaking Project represents a real and sustainable solution to violence and conflict in the community. To implement this project, the Center for Court Innovation pursued a holistic approach that prioritized robust community engagement and good design. As the Center’s primary design partner in this project, we led the community-driven design process in collaboration with UPSTATE and Ashley McGraw Architects. The process included community design workshops and other opportunities to gain valuable community input into the design and functionality of the Peacemaking Center. The final goal of the project was the adaptive reuse of a vacant building at the heart of the neighborhood that enabled the NWSPP to serve the community and support positive outcomes for those participating in the peacemaking process.
The Near Westside Peacemaking Project is the first program in the country to implement both a peacemaking program and a purpose-built space for its use. This project represents a paradigm shift in how we address crime and disorder in our communities and the role that architects and designers play in creating holistic and sustainable prototypes for social change.

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