PS21 has new chair and two new board members

The PS21 Board of Directors recently elected Emily Corbett Chadwick as its new chair (see photo below). She has been an active member of the PS21 community for two years, and led the development and implementation of the Vaughan Mall Green demonstration project. Emily works at Manypenny | Murphy Architecture in Portsmouth, and earned degrees in Architecture at the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in the Growth & Structure of Cities at Haverford College.

 

Doug Roberts, co-founder of Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21), is the outgoing chair. He resigned from the board in August to run for a seat on Portsmouth City Council. Doug stated that he hopes to be elected to the City Council in November “in order to take a more directly active role in advocating for innovative ideas and the positive discussion of issues facing Portsmouth.”

Two new members have been elected to serve on the PS21 board. Deb Chag is a Middle Street resident who has served as a volunteer on numerous Seacoast nonprofit boards. She participated in the North End and West End charrettes, as well as Portsmouth Listens – West End, and was a volunteer for the PS21 Vaughan Mall Green demonstration project.

“I’m excited to join the PS21 Board because I appreciate the progressive thinking of this community group. I hope to help broaden the visibility of PS21 by continuing to identify and promote demonstration projects and other relevant events,” Chag said.

Jonathan Sandberg, a Boston native who moved to Portsmouth in 2000, works in Student Services at Portsmouth High School. Sandberg served on the board of the Portsmouth Historical Society and helped foster the creation of the Discover Portsmouth Center. He is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Federal Block Grant Program for Portsmouth, and participated in two sessions of Portsmouth Listens.

“I’m pleased to be directly involved in planning and implementing PS21 activities. In particular, I’m a strong advocate for improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure,” Sandberg noted.

Vaughan Mall Green Summer Series Gets Under Way

Summer is here, and PS21 is ready to celebrate it with you! Performances and activities are scheduled for  Vaughan Mall on Saturdays from 4-6 PM through the end of August.

VAUGHAN MALL GREEN SUMMER SERIES

July 15 – Eastern Sleds with Justin Carloni, 4-6 p.m. Americana

July 22 – Singing Our Way – a cappella singing trio (4 p.m.); Leftist Marching Band – marching band with a progressive voice (5 p.m.)

July 29 – Seacoast Storytellers present “A World of Tales” with Debra Ballou, Shawn Middleton, and Michael Lang (4-6 p.m.)

RAIN Aug. 5 

Aug 12 – Midnight Blues Jazz Combo, a jazz, funk and pop quartet (4 p.m.); Ray Demarco (5 p.m.)

Aug. 19 – Jim Danger, acoustic rock’n’roll (4 p.m); Sam Robbins, acoustic Americana, country, folk and pop (5 p.m.)

Aug. 26 – Mitch Shuldman & Linda Bieber, classical guitar and flute (4-6 p.m.)

SEPT. 2 – Singer-songwriters and recording artists Jim Rioux & Guy Capecelatro III, (4-6 p.m.)

Contact Ellie  with any questions.

Summer Activities in Vaughan Mall!

PS21 is organizing summer events as part of its revitalization project, Vaughan Mall Green.  We’re looking for performers and entertaining group activities — musical acts, games, exercise or meditation classes, dancing, juggling, game tourneys, theater demos and more!

If we receive City Council approval, we are planning to have events Saturday afternoons from 3-5 pm in July and August. Performance slots can range from 45 min to 2 hours. Performers will not be paid, but may accept donations.

Spread the word! To sign up, please fill out this brief online form and contact Ellie at portsmouthsmart21@gmail.com.

Vaughan Mall Green Is Open

Saturday morning,  May 20,  VAUGHAN MALL GREEN got underway with a crew of volunteers who added  cafe tables and chairs and plants to the pedestrian mall in the heart of Portsmouth. Stop by Vaughan Mall to experience the changes. And tell us what you think by taking our SURVEY at ps21.info/vmg-survey/,

Soon, the latticework will be expanded, four planters will be added, and LED light strings will be strung above part of the walkway. A mural by a Seacoast artist is under discussion. #VMGreen

 

 

All this is being done in partnership with the City of Portsmouth, and with help from our generous sponsors and partners.  A special celebration of the VAUGHAN MALL GREEN project will be held in June — stay tuned!

Remember, your donations to support our mission of stimulating discussion about planning issues affecting Portsmouth are always welcome. PS21 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and tax-deductible donations support our always-free events.


Season Sponsors Piscataqua Savings Bank | Martha Fuller Clark

Event Sponsors New Hampshire Charitable Foundation | Portsmouth Garden Club | Portwalk Place

Event Partners City of Portsmouth | Energize 360 | Mr. Fox Composting | Michael Kelso, Carpenter |
Rolling Green Nursery | Seacoast Local | Seacoast Peace Academy | Seacoast Permaculture Meetup | SEAREI |
Selectwood | Wentworth Greenhouses | SJW Ltd. (Sumner & Sam Winebaum)

PS21 Partners Seacoast Media Group | PortsmouthNH.com |The Sound | Coruway Film Institute | 3S Artspace

Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21) is an independent, volunteer-led non-profit that presents ideas and encourages discussion and policy development around planning issues in Portsmouth, N.H. and the Seacoast. PS21 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and tax-deductible donations to support its free events are welcome.

Vaughan Mall Green Gets Underway

Vaughan Mall Green draft drawing

On Saturday morning, the new PS21 VAUGHAN MALL GREEN project gets underway! The first phase focuses on the middle section of the mall, planting beds and adding café-style tables and chairs to make it a more friendly place to gather. We invite you to come and experience the changes, and to provide feedback on the project online at ps21.info.

Upcoming phases of VAUGHAN MALL GREEN will include adding signage and a lattice backing for the stage area, planters and overhead LED light strings. A mural by a Seacoast artist is under discussion.

All this is being done in partnership with the City of Portsmouth, and with help from our generous sponsors and partners.

A special celebration of the VAUGHAN MALL GREEN project will be held in June — stay tuned!

Thanks for your interest in PS21 activities. Remember, your donations to support our mission of stimulating discussion about planning issues affecting Portsmouth are always welcome. PS21 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and tax-deductible donations support our always-free events.

Event Sponsors: New Hampshire Charitable Foundation | Portsmouth Garden Club | Portwalk Place | Selectwood | SJW LTD (Sumner and Sam Winebaum) | Michael Kelso, Carpenter

Season Sponsors: Piscataqua Savings Bank | Martha Fuller Clark

Event Partners: City of Portsmouth | Energize 360 | Seacoast Local | Seacoast Peace Academy | SEAREI | Seacoast Permaculture Meetup

PS21 Partners: Seacoast Media Group | PortsmouthNH.com |The Sound | Coruway Film Institute | 3S Artspace


Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21) is an independent, volunteer-led non-profit that presents ideas and encourages discussion and policy development around planning issues in Portsmouth, N.H. and the Seacoast. PS21 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and tax-deductible donations to support its free events are welcome.

Vaughan Mall Green Presentation on Video

VMG Action Plan and Implementation Update Coming Soon

Planner and permaculture advocate Steve Whitman walked an audience of 60+ through the principles of permaculture, an approach to sustainable design, during the April presentation at 3S Artspace.

Whitman followed that up by facilitating an workshop at Discover Portsmouth that focusing on permaculture and place-making ideas specifically for the Vaughan Mall.  The results of that workshop and outcome of discussions with the City  will be online soon. Then PS21 and volunteers will be working with the City of Portsmouth to implement ideas over the next few weeks.

 

VAUGHAN MALL GREEN: AN ECOLOGICAL PLACEMAKING PROJECT

PS21 Events in April & May to Create Inviting, Ecological Common Space for Vaughan Mall

Growing out of a recent exploration of how to create dynamic, attractive public spaces, PS21 is sponsoring a three-part event in April and May to add ecological design and permaculture elements to Portsmouth’s downtown Vaughan Mall.

Vaughan Mall Tom Morgan 650px

The Vaughan Mall area, between Congress and Hanover streets, was identified in recent PS21 placemaking events as a priority for improvement. This project, Vaughan Mall Green, will combine placemaking with a demonstration of the mall as an environmentally resilient civic space, reflecting Portsmouth’s designation as an eco-municipality. The principles of permaculture, a system of agricultural and social design elements intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient, will be incorporated in the area with the guidance of planner and designer Steve Whitman.

There are three parts to the Vaughan Mall Green project, whose goal is in part to increase pedestrian activity and make it more welcoming. In the mix are plans to add edible landscaping, native species and other plantings that aid in the absorption of rain and stormwater runoff.  Placemaking ideas developed at previous PS21 events include varied seating options, additional lighting, signs for pedestrians, live performances and other activities.

Volunteers, businesses, and gardening and sustainability-focused groups will assist in the design and implementation of Vaughan Mall Green. Please RSVP

Scheduled events include:

  • Thursday, April 20 at 7 PM at 3S Artspace – Presentation by planner and permaculture designer Steve Whitman of Plymouth. Learn how you can use an ecological design process for your own property or in creating positive changes elsewhere in the city. Whitman owns Resilience Planning and Design, and teaches at Plymouth State University and Colby-Sawyer College. Please RSVP
  • Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day) at Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 AM to 4 PM – Workshop on permaculture in an urban space and project development, led by Steve Whitman. Please RSVP
  • Saturday, May 13, Kick-Off of Design Implementation at Vaughan Mall – PS21 will partner with volunteers and the city to implement the design.

The City of Portsmouth, as part of its planning process, also is considering ways to enhance Vaughan Mall and nearby areas. While these plans may be informed by PS21’s Vaughan Mall Green project, they are separate efforts. PS21 (Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century) is an independent, all-volunteer nonprofit group.

This is the latest PS21 event to focus on planning and policy issues affecting the city and its residents. Please sign up at www.ps21.info to help ensure sufficient space and to assist with planning. PS21 events are free and open to the public, and presented as part of its mission to stimulate discussion about planning issues affecting Portsmouth. PS21 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and tax-deductible donations to support these free events are welcome.

Event Sponsors: New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Portsmouth Garden Club and Portwalk Place

Season Sponsors: Piscataqua Savings Bank and Martha Fuller Clark

Event Partners: City of Portsmouth, Seacoast Media Group, PortsmouthNH.com, The Sound, Coruway Film Institute, 3S Artspace, Energize 360, Seacoast Local, Seacoast Peace Academy, SEAREI, Seacoast Permaculture Meetup

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ABOUT PS21:  Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21) is an independent, volunteer-led organization that presents ideas and encourages discussion and policy development around planning issues in Portsmouth, N.H. and the Seacoast. Our goal is to support a vibrant, sustainable, livable, and walkable community compatible with the principles of smart growth, the historic nature of Portsmouth, and the context of the 21st century. PS21 maintains a blog and e-newsletter at www.ps21.info, and archives video of many events.

Past events, all free and open to the public, have included presentations and workshops on: the Islington Street tactical urbanism project; placemaking workshops and discussions; accessory dwelling units in Portsmouth; affordable housing with planner Jennifer Hurley; “Walkable Cities” with author and planner Jeff Speck; parking expert Michael Manville; a walking tour of the city’s developing North End; Portsmouth street design by expert and Portsmouth resident Rick Chellman; Seacoast transportation modes; changing cityscapes by Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Robert Campbell; leading Portsmouth to a healthy and vibrant future with Plan NH; and a screening of the architectural film “The Human Scale.”  ps21.infoFacebook | Twitter

Place-making: The Results Are In

Which location would you target first if you wanted to make downtown Portsmouth a better place?

After hearing ideas and seeing illustrations by landscape architect Robert White , there was a clear audience preference at a PS21 event: the Vaughan Mall.

More than 70 people attended the presentation and discussion at the library Feb. 1. The vote tally (estimated by PS21) was:

  • Vaughan Mall ~50%
  • ‘Spring Hill Square’ (Hanover and Market streets) ~ 35%
  • State Street – 10%
  • Market Square ~ 5%

Vaughan Mall supporters cited the need to improve the pedestrian walkway and the ease and relatively low cost with which it might be done.

The Feb. 1 session was a follow-up to PS21’s fall workshop on “place-making.” Place-making is a philosophy and approach to creating better public spaces that focuses: uses and activities, access and linkages, sociability and comfort and image. From the workshop, ideas for the Vaughan Mall, ideas included

  • Add a children’s play area
  • Provide more seating and a variety of seating options
  • Add a water feature
  • Bring back the stage
  • Consider expanding into the Worth Parking Lot
  • Provide better wayfinding for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Offer better lighting
  • Vary walking surfaces and textures
  • Improve maintenance of facades and storefronts
  • Add more vegetation

ADU Event Draws Full House

Nearly 90 people came to the Portsmouth library Feb. 22 to hear Ben Frost of the NH Housing Finance Authority and Rick Taintor, Portsmouth planning director, discuss accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and the city’s new ordinance governing ADUs.

The video includes both presentations and the Q&A afterward. Slides from Frost’s entertaining presentation on ADUs and the state law and Taintor’s detailed look at Portsmouth’s ordinance can be downloaded by clicking on the links. Portsmouth’s zoning changes also are available.