Architecture Students Help Design A Revitalized Salisbury - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Architecture Students Help Design A Revitalized Salisbury

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SALISBURY, Md. - It's something you typically don't see, especially on a chilly day...bundled up in coats and gloves, folks in Salisbury took a stroll through downtown.

It's for "Envision Salisbury, the semester project for architecture students at the University of Maryland College Park, teaching them to think outside the classroom, and develop plans for a real city.

"At the end of the semester, students are asked to design a master plan...a couple of buildings that we determine are important," says Luis Quiros, an architecture professor at College Park.

This may be a school project, but City Council President Jake Day says it can have a real impact on Salisbury.

"It's not just an academic exercise, says Day, that same kind of planning that's linked to the university uses the design process that ultimately creates a product that we can implement.'

Together, residents and students developed plans to help the city, from unlocking old secrets, "you know, we have the neatest little zoo, that nobody knows about," says one man, to creating new features.

"I want a park in Downtown Salisbury for kids and families to play and exercise," says Ryland Weaver.  It's a plan the seven year-old has been working on for about a week.  He says it's necessary because "58 percent of kids don't get enough exercise in the US."

Scott Deisher, an architecture student at College Park says actually speaking with residents has helped him better understand the needs of the community, "these are people who actually live in a community and want...they legitimately want a change and make a difference."

"Downtowns are the souls of communities, says longtime resident Priscilla Timken, "we need our soul to come back to life."

The project will be finished by the end of the semester, and the city hopes to get a master plan document by July, which will be used as a guiding framework for future development in Salisbury.

City Council President Jake Day says this could've been about a $200 thousand planning process, had it not been done with students, though he expects ideas developed through it will result in real, paying local jobs.

Day is a graduate of the architecture program at College Park, which is how Salisbury was chosen for this year's project.

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