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Expand Opportunities to Stay Connected with Physical Distancing

Physical distancing during the pandemic created a need for rethinking routine activities around being connected to social networks. Remote technologies such as internet and cellular technologies became imperatives as a safe means of working, studying, doing errands, and staying connected to people. During the COVID-19 pandemic, households without access to these technologies faced a more difficult time sheltering in place.

 

In addition, outdoor public spaces where people can safely gather became a critical community need during the current pandemic. Physical distancing requirements made it essential to have safe accessible public spaces for people to move about and be social without spreading illnesses. Parks, trails, and public spaces provide an environment where people can be social, get exercise, interact with nature, and spend time outside of their homes.

 

Relevant Rochester 2034 Strategies:

 

Determine best ways to improve Internet accessibility:

SC-2a. Examine internet needs in the community and determine the most effective ways to improve internet accessibility.

Expand fiber-optics throughout the city:

SC-2b. Work with private internet providers to expand fiber-optics throughout the city.

Upgrade internet speeds at public facilities:

SC-2c. Continuously upgrade internet speeds and capabilities in public facilities such as libraries and rec centers.

Expand municipal online payments:

SC-4b. Expand existing and develop new municipal online payment, permitting, and licensing systems, as well as subscription-based public notifications.

Expand City permitting, inspection, and enforcement to digital:

SC-4c. Advance City permitting, inspection, and enforcement operations through digital transformation.

Improve access to 311 for non-English speakers:

BCC-3d. Explore options for improving access to 311 for non-English speaking residents.

Develop strategy for park use by neighborhoods:

PR-2e. Develop a small parks/parklets strategy and explore options for public/neighborhood use of City-owned vacant land.

 

Improve maintenance, operations, and safety in parks:

PR-3a. Provide adequate funding, technology, and staffing for high quality maintenance, operations, and safety of parks, including:

-Sufficient mowing, pruning, watering
-Safe and accessible playgrounds, athletic facilities
-Parks free of litter and graffiti
-Trails and pathways clear and smooth
-Technological improvements for planning and monitoring
-Staff training and education in best management and maintenance practices.

 

Increase visibility and welcomness of parks and recreation facilities:

PR-4b. Increase visibility and welcomeness near parks and recreation facilities through:

-Public art, murals, and playful design elements and amenities on or leading to rec centers, trails, park entrances, and other facilities
-Colorful, beautiful, and informative wayfinding and interpretation signage
-Traffic calming treatments to slow vehicular speeds and make it safer and easier to walk and bike to parks and recreation facilities

 

Introduce community-oriented programs at parks:

PR-4c. Activate parks with community-oriented programming for diverse audiences, ages, interests, and abilities:

-Exercise, yoga, dance classes in parks
-Nature education and adventures, local history walks, garden programs, music
-Accessible adventures, athletics, and recreation programing

Develop a formal Friends of the Parks organization:

PR-4f. Develop a formal Friends of the Parks organization which actively promotes, advocates for and assists with fundraising for our parks and greenspaces.

Identify investment opportunities in existing parks:

PR-5b. Target infrastructure investments within existing parks, trails, and recreation facilities to areas that need improved access for people with disabilities, particularly Washington Grove, Lower Falls Park, and other areas of the Genesee River Gorge.

Sponsor grants for community gardening and urban agriculture:

UAG-1h. Sponsor grants to support community gardening as well as other urban agriculture applications.

Identify groups who will help manage and program vacant lots:

VNT-2a. Identify community groups who are willing and have the capacity to help manage and program vacant lots for community gathering and playability. Write grants to offset capital and operational costs.

For the full "Rochester 2034 Pandemic Resiliency Strategies" report, click here.

For more information on Rochester 2034, click here

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