The City of Charlottesville has hired a new employee as their first urban designer. Her name is Carrie Rainey, and she's got her roots in Charlottesville. Originally from Albemarle County, she worked in Washington D.C for many years on public projects all along the East Coast. Then, like many of us do, she returned home, and found this job to work for the City of Charlottesville.
Inside city halls West Main Street entrance is the neighborhood development office, where the walls are lined with future plans for Charlottesville. They now have a new set of eyes on the blueprints.
"I can bring a new view in terms of the street as a public space and what that means in terms of how we need to designate our areas of streets and also our other public spaces," comments Carrie Rainey.
She earned her degree at Virginia Tech as a landscape architect and uses this knowledge toward how to improve the layout of Charlottesville; logistically.
"The importance of having an urban designer who can help guide these design projects and who can help on street-scaping plans and also on infrastructure plans. Anything that might step into the public realm and make sure we are creating good designs that are interesting and useful to everybody."
Basically she wants to make everybody happy, which is pretty much impossible; but she is working with the projects now to give them character. She wants to not just make more public space, but make quality public space. One project she walked right into is the reconstruction of West Main Street, with the goal to give it life.
"Not a new character but it will enhance the existing character of West Main St and bring a new experience to the area. It can also be a new template for things as we move forward."
She’s been so busy that she hasn't found time to decorate the walls around her office at city hall.