Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainable Development

5 Key Ground Rules for Meaningful Public/Private Partnership

June 10, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Although public/private sector partnerships can be a highly effective way to manage public space, there are 5 Key “Ground Rules” that need to be followed for that partnership to work over the long-term.

For a meaningful public/private partnership there must be:

  1. Recognition of each party’s specific assets and liabilities and a willingness to share responsibilities based on that knowledge.
  2. Sustained commitment from the public sector.
  3. A realistic understanding of what can be expected from both the public and private partners.
  4. An understanding that private support is in addition to consistent public support. If public support is reduced it must not be disproportionate to private support.
  5. A joint management committee made up of key stakeholders to ensure leadership and sustained commitments with a point person to act on behalf of the management committee.

Case Study: CONNECTIVE CORRIDOR
Location: SYRACUSE, NEW YORK

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What is the Connective Corridor?      

The Connective Corridor is a multi-modal transportation and urban design project connecting the major economic and cultural institutions in the City of Syracuse. The Connective Corridor encompasses the University Hill area and Downtown Syracuse, home the region’s largest concentration of employers and cultural destinations:

  • Syracuse University, Upstate Medical University, and State University of New York College of Environment Science and Forestry;
  • Four major hospitals serving the entire Central New York Region;
  • Over 25 cultural venues;
  • Five hotels;
  • The region’s largest convention and entertainment complex.
  • The city’s central business district;

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What are the Objectives/Purposes of the Project?   

The primary goal of the project is to improve the safety and mobility of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities and accommodations, introduce traffic calming measures, and enhance public transportation to create a signature urban strip within the heart of the City, linking cultural heritage and public art destinations with local academic, commercial, and entertainment districts between Syracuse University and downtown Syracuse.

Project Objectives of the Connective Corridor project are:   

  1. Improve the existing transportation infrastructure to provide improved multi-modal facilities for bicycles, pedestrians and public transportation services, in a manner that is integrated with, and supportive of other current studies and initiatives.
  2. Introduce creative and cost-effective design solutions that address known operational and safety deficiencies, while also defining a safe, efficient, and continuous corridor that would support the integration of new technologies.
  3. Provide cost effective, maintainable improvements exhibiting a level of innovation and quality that support the urban design principles desired by the University and City.
  4. Define/create a marked route that connects Syracuse University and Downtown.

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Project Evolution: 

Over the past five years, many of these institutions have experienced a significant amount of growth and capital investment creating greater demand to improve transportation options as well as build a foundation for new residential and commercial investment. Outdated transportation plans and infrastructure limits mobility in the area and constrains opportunities to adapt land use in response to changing economic conditions.  Given these opportunities and challenges, the City of Syracuse has developed a private-public partnership with other government agencies, businesses and nonprofit institutions in order to pool resources and tap into different levels of experience and expertise.

Beginning as a concept in 2005, The Connective Corridor grew out of a new partnership between the City of Syracuse, Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (CNYRTA), Syracuse University, National Grid, Onondaga County and New York State.

In 2006, a vision emerged for the Corridor following a year-long design competition that called for a multi modal transportation system to encourage travelers to find alternative means of transportation with emphasis on bicycle and pedestrian use and public transportation.

In 2007, the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council, the region’s MPO, released its University Hill Transportation Study that echoed the Corridor’s vision and called for greater integration of land use and alternative transportation methods throughout the entire University Hill neighborhood, and stronger connections with destinations in downtown Syracuse.

In 2008, the City of Syracuse selected local engineering firm Barton & Loguidice (B&L) to begin design work on the Corridor with $5.8 million in funds provided by FHWA.  Syracuse University, CNYRTA and Onondaga County have also work together to obtain over $26,650,000 to enhance design work along major transportation routes in an effort to stimulate private investment.  These resources provide the ability for the project partners to holistically address the transportation needs of the community while also maximizing the city’s potential for continued growth and economic redevelopment.

Since 2007, the Connective Corridor area has seen the potential for $400 million in new capital investment with additions to the educational and medical institutions on the University Hill.  Additional growth potential in Downtown Syracuse includes adaptive reuse of buildings along the Corridor into mixed-use commercial and residential structures, as well as new construction efforts relocating suburban businesses back into the city.  In all, $260 million in new and future investment in downtown is being planned or underway.

The Syracuse Connective Corridor touches many different institutions, commercial interests, and other public and private sector stakeholders.  

The key stakeholders include the following entities: 

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