Claire Agre to speak at APGA Conference 2017

How to leverage a construction process as an opportunity for community engagement? On the 22 of June 2017, West 8 New York’s principal Claire Agre will address this topic at the American Public Garden Association Conference 2017.

As panel member, Claire will discuss the recent restoration of Longwood Gardens’ Main Fountain Garden as an example of a fresh approach to actively engage the public in a construction process.

Construction projects are inevitable in public gardens. The common tendency is to anticipate the construction will result in negative consequences. When Longwood Gardens’ most iconic and historically significant garden, the Main Fountain Garden shut down in October 2014, rather than apologize, Longwood took a bold step by creating an immersive guest experience.

Instead of building large walls hiding the project and placing apologetic messaging in the garden, guests were actively invited to be a part of the renovation through new interactive programs, both on-site and online.

Longwood’s spectacular Main Fountain Garden reopened on the 27 of May this year. West 8 was responsible for the design of the garden’s improved public spaces harmonizing with the original design, the enhancement of the Main Fountain Garden’s horticultural elements, and the creation of new gardens that provide new amenities for Longwood’s guests.

More information can be found here.