EAST ORANGE, NJ – Mayor Lester Taylor III is one of eight mayors in the United States selected to participate in the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) East Regional Session from Oct. 22-24 at the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

The Mayors’ Institute on City Design is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. It is a symposium intended to offer the invited mayors a better understanding of the design of cities.

Other mayors include Holly Brinda (Elyria, OH); Roy Buol (Dubuque, IA); Richard David (Binghamton, NY); Scott Eisenhauer (Danville, IL); Toni Harp (New Haven, CT); and Dave Kleis (St. Cloud, MN). At the session, the mayors will meet with a group of internationally-renowned design professionals to discuss specific projects, and development in general, through the perspective of urban design.

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On Sept 24th, in preparation for the upcoming session, Mayor Taylor, Valerie Jackson, Director of Policy, Planning and Development, and Chris Coke, Director of the Department of Public Works, led Taylor Wood, Assistant Dean for Advancement, Syracuse University School of Architecture, and Julia Czerniak, Syracuse Professor and Associate Dean School of Architecture, on a tour of several East Orange sites that have been identified for redevelopment.

Mayor Taylor and his team decided to use Brick Church Plaza, in the heart of the city’s Transit Village, as a case study for October’s two-and-a-half-day working session. An immediate outcome of the session – a comprehensive case statement for redevelopment  – will also be used to further refine development plans for  Brick Church Plaza and surrounding areas.

“Slow redevelopment and economic deterioration such as blight and vacancy have been some of our most critical challenges,” said Mayor Taylor. “Brick Church Plaza and its transformation have the capacity to catalyze change. I am looking forward to being able to share ideas and bring back to our City invaluable insight and creative solutions.”