Clayton Gillette, Director of The Marron Institute, and Research Scholar Manny Patole have partnered with LabGov Georgetown and the redevelopment authority of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Build Baton Rouge to economically revitalize the Plank Road Corridor of Baton Rouge. The Co-City Baton Rouge project is centered on the needs and interests of the residents of the Corridor. The project works with residents and stakeholders to identify what they think is best for revitalizing their neighborhood and increase their capacity to be full collaborators, not just bystanders, in their economic development.
The Plank Road Project envisions a transit-oriented approach for the overall revitalization of a 4.3-mile segment of Plank Road and consists of three components: planning for a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) installation, land banking of adjudicated and blighted parcels to support catalytic development projects, and creating a comprehensive revitalization master plan.
The success of the Co-City BR is grounded in the first two phases of the Co-City cycle: Cheap Talking and Mapping. The Cheap Talk phase involves face-to-face, informal and pressure-free communication among key local actors (experts, practitioners, activists, residents) to activate the community of stakeholders that will be involved in the collaborative project. The second phase, Mapping, involves understanding the characteristics of the urban or neighborhood context through surveys and exploratory interviews, fieldwork activities, and ethnographic work.