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Lucid Project

West Hill, Albany, NY. Photo: Diana Araujo

Lucid Project is a multiyear project supporting historically under-resourced communities in small and medium-sized cities.

With a phased approach that begins with trust-building, Lucid collaborates with community members to co-create the tools they need to lead transformation in their neighborhoods. To achieve this, we connect residents, community-based organizations, city agencies, and design professionals. As an interdisciplinary team, these groups co-create design solutions that address communities’ specific aspirations and challenges and support their ambitions in the public realm.

In Fall 2021, Lucid launches in the Albany, NY neighborhood of West Hill.

West Hill is a predominantly African-American neighborhood with cultural richness, strong community-based initiatives, and access to nearby downtown Albany. With a median income of $15,000, residents of West Hill also face a number of systemic challenges including a lack of resources, blight and abandonment, and higher rates of violence.

The Eden’s Rose Foundation, a local nonprofit, has acquired more than 20 empty lots covering approximately five acres of land. To date, they have built Albany Victory Gardens , a large community garden that occupies more than two acres within one block.

The City owns a small public alley (0.14 acres) located at the core of this project that has sat vacant and neglected for decades. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan sees this space as an opportunity to support community development and crime prevention in West Hill.

In West Hill, we have three main objectives with our partners:

  • Facilitate West Hill’s access to resources that can transform their built environment and support socioeconomic development
  • Empower community members to work together and with other professionals to co-create design solutions that address their specific needs and aspirations
  • Support capacity-building efforts within the community
West Hill, Albany, NY. Photo: Diana Araujo
West Hill, Albany, NY. Photo: Diana Araujo
West Hill, Albany, NY. Photo: Diana Araujo

Sep 2021 – Jun 2022
Phase 1: Community Engagement and Prototyping

We’ll engage community partners to co-design and build a temporary installation to prototype design solutions that address West Hill’s specific needs and aspirations. The prototype becomes a resource to exercise creativity, and build collaboration skills and trust among local stakeholders.

Jun – Dec 2022
Phase 2: Neighborhood Design Fellowship

We’ll deploy a capacity-building program through a paid fellowship designed around a “learn-by-doing” approach and knowledge-sharing. Fellows will explore long-term stewardship models for the site, with an outcome decided and worked on by the community members with the support of interdisciplinary professionals.

Mar 2023 – Jun 2024
Phase 3: Implementation

Permanently implementing our Phase 2 prototype, the City of Albany will construct the community-led project design on-site.

For more information on the Lucid Project, contact:

Diana Araujo
Project Manager, Programs