CDC Rochester Leaders Working with RIT Partner, American University in Kosovo, on Urban Revitalization of Prishtina, Kosovo’s Capital and Largest City

Conference Funded by American Embassy in Kosovo




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The Community Design Center Rochester (CDC Rochester) is working with the American University in Kosovo to host Community Design Prishtina, a three-day community design symposium on revitalization and community-driven design in Prishtina, Kosovo, the country’s capital and largest city.

A number of organizations and groups are participating in the symposium May 6-9, which is geared to stimulate conversation and strategies regarding revitalization and serve as the catalyst for a citizen-engaged model of development for Prishtina, Kosovo and its municipalities. American University in Kosovo is a Rochester Institute of Technology partner.

The project was initiated by Daniel Cosentino, an RIT faculty member who is chair of the Department of Media, Science and Technology programs at American University in Kosovo. CDC Rochester Executive Director Joni Monroe and long-time former Board Chair Roger Brown, both architects and nationally-recognized leaders in community driven design, are delivering the keynote to about 100 community and municipal leaders, design professionals, educators and others who are interested in revitalization of Prishtina’s infrastructure and neighborhoods.

The Rochester contingent is sharing examples of work done in Rochester including plans and outcomes for Downtown Center City, the Joseph Avenue Business District and the Clinton Avenue South projects. They are also speaking on the community design process employed in Rochester (charrettes) and the vision plans produced.

“We have been planning this conference for several months now with a committee in Prishtina,” said Monroe. “Following our presentations, we will conduct a walkthrough of a historic area of the city to view conditions and share ideas about solutions and opportunities going forward.”

Major funding for the symposium is being provided by the American Embassy in Kosovo.

Organizers hope the symposium will provide a platform to generate ideas and yield collaborations and future design charrettes for Prishtina and other urban areas of Kosovo.

Speakers who work in fields of urban and spatial planning, design, architecture, art, law and politics are sharing ideas and case studies on successful models of community design and urban planning in North America and Europe and discuss spatial planning and urban development issues as they relate to the built environment, energy efficiency and sustainable design.

Beyond the core participants, the symposium proceedings will be open to the public.

  • Exhibition opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 at American University in Kosovo, 4th floor.
  • Symposium continues May 7 and 8.
  • A community charrette exercise follows in the Dodona neighborhood, Prishtina, on Saturday, May 9.

Participants include individuals from: American University in Kosovo/Rochester Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Natural Resources, Community Design Center - Rochester, Municipality of Prishtina, Directorate of Urbanism, Construction and Environment Protection - Municipality of Prishtina, Department of Spatial Planning - Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, Institute for Spatial Planning - Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Heritage - Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage, United States Agency for International Development, UN-Habitat United Nations Human Settlements Programme, United Nations Development Programme, Prosperity Initiative in Kosovo, “Emancipimi Civil Ma Ndryshe” NGO, Baushtellë - Balkan Temple, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”, Institution of University Education - AAB, University Education for Business and Technology, Cultural Heritage Without Borders, Dardania College, Co-Plan Institute for Habitat Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Green Art Center – Prishtina, and others.

American University in Kosovo

American University in Kosovo opened its doors in 2003 and is Kosovo's only private, nonprofit higher education institution that teaches entirely in the English language. It is also the single institution in Kosovo whose degrees are accredited and recognized worldwide thanks to the partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., a private institution in the U.S.

American University in Kosovo was founded to support Kosovo and its neighboring countries to develop their economies, societies and democratic institutions, by providing undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs in the English language.

With its students coming from 17 different countries around the world, American University in Kosovo delivers the same excellent standard of American higher education that is received by RIT students – the same degree, the same syllabus, the same exams and grading standards – taught by many of the same faculty members.

The Community Design Center Rochester (CDCR)

The CDCR is the Rochester region’s only nonprofit, citizen-driven organization providing design assistance to advance quality development, planning and policymaking for neighborhoods’ and towns’ built environment. The organization is dedicated to promoting healthy, sustainable communities by encouraging quality design and thoughtful use of built and natural resources. Its design professionals, planners, and citizens serve as a collaborative resource providing design guidance and recommendations.

CDCR also organizes the annual Reshaping Rochester Series and Awards and citizen-based planning events that reinforce the role of communities in the development of their neighborhoods. CDCR has worked with neighborhoods and communities to produce vision plans, among them Corn Hill, Maplewood/Dewey, PLEX Southwest Riverfront, Joseph Avenue, Upper Monroe, Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood, Marketview Heights, the Town of Pittsford, Town of Brighton, and more.