Fulton Rising

One of Richmond’s oldest neighborhoods wants to create a community-centered vision for its future. The Greater Fulton community asked Floricane to help.

History suggests that in 1607 Captain John Smith met with Powhatan’s son at the foot of Fulton Hill. More than 400 years later, Richmond’s Greater Fulton community – Fulton, Fulton Hill and Montrose Heights – is ready to move past its history and define a new future.

With funding from LISC Virginia, Fulton’s Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) invited area planners to help the community build a grassroots vision and strategic plan. Floricane stepped to the table, combining our facilitation and planning expertise with strong visioning and design support from our new partner, Peter Fraser.

Last week, Peter and I had our first formal meeting with the newest Floricane client – the 4,500 residents of Fulton. Well, three of their representatives.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring the Fulton community on foot and by bike. We’ll also sit on a few front porches. Along with co-director of the NRC, Annette Cousins, and her team, our goal will be to connect with the community, more deeply understand Fulton’s geography and architecture, and begin building awareness of the visioning process among local residents.

In October, plans are to hold a series of visioning sessions with residents and other community stakeholders. Peter and I will then go to work on both written and visual planning documents that seek to capture the community’s passion, its story and its dreams for the future.

November will bring a two-day open design studio – residents can review our work and provide in-the-moment feedback – as well as a presentation at LISC Virginia’s 20th anniversary celebration and a final community-wide session.

Peter and I are lucky to have Beth Coakley, a masters student in VCU’s Public Administration program, working with us as project coordinator.

We believe that our three-month engagement with the Greater Fulton community is going to be an amazing experience for everyone involved. We can’t wait to see what dreams emerge from the community in the weeks ahead.