Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Technology Clinic students will give a mid-year report on their exploration of development opportunities for the riverfront areas of Easton and Phillipsburg 4:30 p.m. today in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104.

The students have been working with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and officials of the two cities. The commission chairman, the mayors of both cities, economic development officials, members of the Arts Community of Easton organization, and others are expected to attend.

“We anticipate that once the plans developed from this study are implemented, both the town of Phillipsburg and the city of Easton will experience a significant increase in tourism and downtown sales,” says Mark Portnoy, executive director for Phillipsburg’s Urban Enterprise Zone and town liaison to the project.

Miriam Huertas, director of planning and economic development for the City of Easton, says the students’ progress has been “great.”

“A lot has been accomplished,” she says. “My hope for Easton in this joint venture is that we can develop a viable plan for economic development growth for both cities, and one that would attract new business opportunities. My personal vision for this project is very much in line with the vision we developed for the Main Street Program, which is to have a community devoted to constantly working together through public-private partnerships to make Downtown Easton an attraction, an asset, and a success as both a business district and a thriving neighborhood.”

Students involved with the “Easton-Phillipsburg Riverscape Planning Project” are researching development possibilities that would create a sense of continuity between the two cities while focusing on the Delaware River and Northampton Street bridge that connects them. They also are looking at aesthetics and traffic control that would make the area more pedestrian-friendly. The Technology Clinic is using a $15,000 grant to study traffic patterns and potential riverfront development during the two-semester project.

Technology Clinic is a hands-on course founded in 1986 that brings together students from different majors to solve the real-world problems of a business, non-profit organization, or government body. Their research addresses the social, technological, and economic issues involved with the client’s problem.

Students in the Tech Clinic are Isaac Esseku ’05 (Accra, Ghana), a double major in computer science and economics & business; Robin Sanderson ’05 (Pasadena, Calif.), a double major in anthropology & sociology and history; Amy Spooner ’06 (Cilfton Park, N.Y.), a geology major; Emily Groves ’05 (Madison, N.J.), an English major; Matt Hokanson ’05 (Biddeford, Maine), a computer science major; and Inku Subedi ’05 (Kathmandu, Nepal), a double major in anthropology & sociology and psychology.

Dan Bauer, professor of anthropology and director of the Technology Clinic program, and visiting instructor Bill Best are advising the students for the fall semester. Local architect William Dohe will replace Best in the spring.

Thursday’s presentation will include images of areas where rivers have been used effectively for community development. More than 100 of such photos, including aerial pictures, have been shot by the students, who also are reviewing photographs and data from across the country. The students will discuss why some locations are better than others and present diagrams and drawings to support their findings.

The students have met with various constituencies, shop owners, and even toll bridge workers to gain their input on the project, Bauer says.

“We are focusing more on what is already there and what is already being done as opposed to what can be done in the future,” says Spooner. “We will have a much more concrete set of ideas by the end of next semester once we have narrowed our focus and heard the responses and suggestions from our clients.”

Some of the areas in which communities are united by rivers and waterfronts that the group will use for comparison include New Hope, Pa., and Lambertville, N.J.; San Francisco and Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; and San Antonio, Texas.

Recent Technology Clinic projects have resulted in recommendations for improving traffic on Cattell Street and ideas for developing the North 3rd Street corridor at the foot of College Hill in Easton, an automobile tour on CD to boost tourism and local awareness of historical assets in Nazareth and its surrounding rural municipalities, a self-guided tour and other enhancements at Bachmann Publick House in downtown Easton, and improvements in the experiences of patients at the offices of doctors within Lehigh Valley Hospital Physicians Group.

Other Technology Clinic projects in recent years have included a report on creating environmentally friendly hotels, which the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection posted on its web site; an interactive web site for the National Canal Museum in downtown Easton; a drunk-driving simulator at Easton’s Weller Center; recommendations for proposed uses of Bachmann Publick House; suggestions to improve fundraising for ProJeCt for People (formerly ProJeCt of Easton); recommendations on a learning center at the National Canal Museum; and a proposal for development in the Slate Belt.

Older projects have included:

  • Promoting the Borough of Roseto, Pennsylvania
  • Reviving Weatherly, Pennsylvania
  • Promoting innovation in plant design for Lockwood Greene Engineering and Air Products
  • Managing work at life at Merck & Co.
  • Improving the organization of residence halls at Lafayette
  • New applications for SERVAC vacuum excavation technology for Filtration Engineering and the Wilkra Company
  • Measuring and improving patient satisfaction for Lehigh Valley Hospital Physicians Group
Categorized in: Academic News