Historically, the Hudson Valley contributed to the feeding, building, educating and housing of innumerable individuals and communities but since the Second World War, deindustrialization has cut deeply into economic health and social mobility. Population decline, job loss, and social inequality plague many towns and cities, and the disparities of wealth and poverty are glaring. Making the situation more difficult, there are many worthy yet conflicting visions, plans, and proposals from local and sub-regional organizations. The Valley’s cities and towns, including Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Newburgh, Kingston, Hudson, and surrounding towns and counties, often operate in isolation from one another, and the regional needs and capacities do not fully inform the public imaginary or professional practices. More recently, economic opportunity has extended north from New York City, providing fuel for jobs, housing and culture but with development comes difficult questions of power, equity and knowledge. Ensuring long-term benefits to a greater cross-section of the population is both necessary and difficult.
The Initiative works with non-profit organizations, community groups and local municipalities to advance the communities’ goals and enhance GSAPP students’ educational experience through real-world collaborations, both in the classroom through studios and seminars and beyond the classroom through applied research and design projects. The Initiative pursues projects that improve the built and natural environment by expanding social impact design, taking research and scholarship beyond the classroom, and providing community leaders and citizens with tools, techniques and knowledge to help build resilient communities. Students can participate in these projects as research assistants or community design assistants.
In addition, the HVI facilitates knowledge exchange between students, faculty and local leaders in the Hudson Valley by convening regular meetings that act as open forums for discussion on planning and design issues.
Want to work with us? Contact Director Kaja Kühl to discuss your organization’s needs and ways in which we can contribute within our curriculum and beyond.
October 7, 2017
The Barge Meet is a project development workshop for the many organizations active in the Hudson Valley. Attendees may have a new proposal or an idea for a project, or have a new project just underway, or are looking to shift or expand a current project – the Meet provides an arena to listen, find collaborators, and re-imagine projects. Participant groups may be at different stages of work, with complementary missions, with different scales of operation and capacities, and serving varied constituencies, but all share a commitment to equitable change in the Valley.
Ross Brady, Anais Niembro Garcia, Nans Voron, Ye Zhang
MOVING IMAGES Urban Narratives and Regions in Newburgh, New York and the Hudson River Valley Fall 2014 Urban Design Studio