Sunday, December 6, 2009

A lesson in what not to do

First published in print: Sunday, December 6, 2009

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In one University at Albany classroom, the method used to redevelop Harriman State Office Campus has become a lesson in what not to do.

Harriman, for the unfamiliar, is a state-owned campus that officials want to transform through private development. The state has selected a development plan, but has refused to release it.

"The process certainly doesn't inspire confidence and trust," said Gene Bunnell, a UAlbany planning professor. "It's an odd way they're going about it."

Bunnell said that in a recent class, he unfavorably compared the state's method at Harriman to the very public process used to redevelop the old Stapleton Airport in Denver into a successful new neighborhood.

Officials here did use public input to craft a 2006 Harriman campus plan, but that blueprint seems to have been abandoned.

"I don't know why they scrapped that," Bunnell said.

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