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* “Communiversity” is a vision of the ways in which institutions of higher learning and the cities, towns, and counties that serve as their homes can and should work together to ensure the viability and vibrancy of their shared communities.

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D
President of Rensselaer

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Communiversity * Communiversity
Neighborhood Renewal
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Rensselaer Neighborhood Renewal Initiatives
Rensselaer’s School of Architecture and Campus Planning and Facilities Design office, in cooperation with the Hillside and Beman Park Neighborhood Associations, Capital District Community Gardens, and TAP, are working with neighborhood residents and business owners to develop a vision for the future of their neighborhood through architectural, environmental, and community design. In community planning and design workshops on campus, fourth- and fifth-year architecture students worked alongside professional planners, architects, and engineers to explore quality of life issues — traffic, parking, pedestrian safety, preservation of green space, and economic development — in the neighborhoods north of campus. Students presented design plans for neighborhood renewal and also discussed ways to revitalize a neighborhood strip mall with improved pedestrian access. The workshops were a promising beginning to what Rensselaer envisions as a longer-term project in community planning.

Homebuyer Incentive Program
Beginning in 2000, Rensselaer offered $5,000 to qualified homebuyers who purchased a home in neighborhoods directly north and south of the campus. Buyers were required to commit to living in the home as a primary residence for at least five years and attend a homeownership seminar addressing issues of maintenance, insurance, utilities, and budgeting. The offer was open to Rensselaer staff, students, and faculty, as well as members of the larger community. Potential buyers applied for the funds through the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program. A total of 60 grants were homebuyer incentive grants were distributed.

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