10-17-18

KSU Landscape Architecture Open House

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KSU Landscape Architecture Open House
Wednesday Nov 14th 2-6pm

Are you are considering studying Landscape Architecture and design? This one afternoon Open House offers an introduction to the discipline of landscape architecture through observing design presentations by current graduate students, an information session with faculty, tour the KSU’s CAED Cleveland Studios and the CUDC. Followed by International Landscape Architect Virginia Burt, FASLA lecture “Keeping On”: Design Inspiration in the Age of the Anthropocene www.vburtdesigns.com at 6pm as part of the CUDC Lecture series and is a public event, reception to follow.

10-15-18

ALTERNATIVES TO THE PRESENT a Conference on Urban Futures

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Kent State Teams up with the AMPS Group to host Alternatives to the Present a Conference on Urban Futures – October 31 to November 2

Starting on Halloween, Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design will host an international conference on urban futures at the at the CUDC’s home in CAED’s Cleveland site in Playhouse Square. The conference will open with a keynote lecture on the 31st at 6:00pm (free and open to the public), with paper sessions all day on November 1 and 2 (registration required). The CAED’s partner in this effort is Architecture Media Politics Society, an international group of scholars that publish interdisciplinary inquiry on the politics and representation of contemporary architecture and urbanism.

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Theme Virtually every 21st century statement on cities begins by acknowledging that this is the century of global urbanization. While we can’t say exactly how our cities will evolve in response to the enormous social and ecological transformations that are underway, we can say that there will be no return to mid-twentieth century statist models, and that there may not be much more life in the Neoliberal economic principles that have defined urban possibilities in the last 40 years. We can also say that, to date, architects, urbanists, planners, sociologists, human geographers and community activists have played only a limited role in informing the ongoing transformation. Most urban development decisions today have a lot to do with speculative finance and flows of capital, and those who seek positive change in cities often struggle to work with, or around, that reality.

The goal of this conference is to look critically at how various disciplines study the city and to consider how the knowledge base of one discipline should more fully inform another. In the final analysis this conference seeks to better comprehend what a 21st century model of the theory-practice relationship in urbanism might look like and whether, under current economic models, such an alignment is possible, or even desirable.

While the conference examines international experience, its host city is significant to the theme. Unevenly developed cities such as Cleveland exhibit a patchwork of economies, market conditions, and forms of social dislocation. They provide compelling laboratories for examining the social, political, economic, and design issues of concern in many cities in both legacy and emerging economies.

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Keynote Anya Sirota, Associate Professor, Taubman School of Architecture and Planning, University of Michigan

Anya Sirota works at the intersection of media, urban politics, and design, both in her teaching at U of M and with her co-principal Jean Louis Farges in the Detroit-based firm Akoaki Design. Through temporary installations and sustained work with grassroots organizations, Sirota seeks to devise modes of urban development that foster both equity and glamour in the culturally rich and economically parched landscape of the so-called rust belt.

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Alternatives to the Present: A Conference on Architecture, Sociology, Urbanism, and Planning

Where: 1309 Euclid Avenue

When: October 31 (evening keynote) – November 1 & 2 (all-day sessions, $250 registration, check only)

Who: Over sixty scholars from four continents

More Information: architecturemps/Cleveland/

Questions: Professor Steve Rugare at srugare@kent.edu

10-15-18

We’re Hiring: SENIOR URBAN DESIGNER

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The Cleveland Urban Design Center is a non-profit, community design practice of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. The CUDC conducts research, provides technical design assistance to communities, and supports public education and design advocacy programs. The CUDC is located in downtown Cleveland, where it shares space with Kent State’s Graduate Programs in Urban Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture.

The CUDC is seeking a Senior Urban Designer with broad multi-disciplinary design experience, an interest in urban design education, and a commitment to public involvement in the design process. He or she will be involved in all aspects of the CUDC’s operations, working closely with the director in initiating new programs, advancing the mission and activities of the organization, leading design projects, and developing proposals for research grants and technical service contracts. Depending on interests and qualifications, the Senior Urban Designer may also contribute to design studios and/or seminars of Kent State’s Graduate Programs.

Minimum qualifications are: an advanced degree in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture or planning; six (6) or more years of experience in urban design or related practice; excellent design, graphic, and communication skills; knowledge of advanced computer applications; and a record of successful grant writing and fundraising experience. Preferred qualifications include digital fabrication experience; teaching experience; and published project work and/or research.

Kent State University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

For official job description, please see the posting on the Kent State University Employment Site

10-12-18

Community Design Charrette in Toledo, Ohio

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On October 5-7, 2018, CUDC staff brought 14 graduate architecture and urban design students from Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design to Toledo, Ohio for our annual Midwest Urban Design Charrette.

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In partnership with the Toledo Design Center, and joined by partner schools Lawrence Tech University & the State University of New York at Buffalo, students spent the weekend studying the Swan Creek area of the Junction neighborhood. TDC has been working closely with Junction through the Junction Coalition on long-term neighborhood planning. The Charrette work dovetailed with that plan in order to envision future ideas for Sterling Field, Swan Creek, and adjacent post-industrial parcels.

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Over 48 hours in Toledo, and pausing only for local Toledo experiences like Tony Packo’s and the Toledo Maritime Academy, students collaborated in teams to quickly generate four distinct plans for the Swan Creek area. The site challenges included floodplains, brownfields, active rail lines, and vacant housing stock; but the students identified opportunities for redeveloping the area and connecting the site back into Junction and to Toledo as a whole. Topics explored included stormwater management, recreation, remediation, industrial heritage, housing retrofits, year-round park access, vacancy & reuse, aging-in-place, and economic development.

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Special thanks to the Toledo Design Center for hosting a wonderful weekend, and to The Collaborative, SSOE, AIA Toledo, AIA Ohio, Amy Odum, the Mastriana Endowment, and NAIOP for sponsoring the 2018 Midwest Urban Design Charrette! Also, thanks to CUDC Project Manager and Urban Designer Kristen Zeiber who did a great job in leading the event!

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10-04-18

David van der Leer at the CUDC

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David van der Leer, Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute, will give two lectures at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative


Thursday, October 25 | Reception at 5:30pm featuring Kent State Ashtabula wines from Laurello Vineyards | Lecture at 6pm

David will talk about the work of the Van Alen Institute. Free and open to the public, but space is limited for this event. Please RSVP by October 11. RSVP LINK

Friday, October 26 | Lecture from noon-1pm | Brown bag lunch lecture — snacks will be provided

David will discuss how the Van Alen Institute selects and evaluates urban design projects. Free and open to the public, no RSVP is needed.

Both events will take place at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200. Please ring the intercom at the front entrance to be buzzed in.


Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative are pleased to welcome David van der Leer for a two day visit, October 25 & 26, 2018. As Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute, David develops projects that explore the nuanced relationship between the built environment and the human being. Under his leadership, Van Alen focuses on the ways our minds and bodies are impacted by the cities we live in, and how we in turn impact the environment.

A highlight is Ecologies of Addiction, a multi-year investigation into the ways digital technologies can shed light on the complex relationship between the city and addictive behaviors; it is currently in its first phase in London.

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Since arriving at the Institute in 2013, David has created a period of strategic growth with a new programming hub in the Flatiron district, and new models for connections between the Institute’s interdisciplinary design competitions, research, and public programs. In close collaboration with a vibrant new team and board, David is working to bring Van Alen’s work to places around the U.S. and beyond.

 

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Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition

09-20-18

RE-CITY: Call for Applications

 

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Innovative Training Network | Reviving shrinking cities – innovative paths and perspectives towards liveability for shrinking cities in Europe (RE-CITY) is recruiting 13 Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions for Early Stage Researchers (ESR). The RE-CITY consortium consists of scholars and practitioners from nine beneficiary-institutions in eight countries (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, and Mexico). All have an interdisciplinary background working on shrinking cities. Additionally seven partner-institutions and companies from four countries, including Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative are assisting with training in Germany, Netherlands, USA and Japan.

The PhDs will be hosted at one of the beneficiary-institutions of RE-CITY: Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), Cambridge Architectural Research (CAR), École Normale Supérieure Paris (ENS), Spatial Foresight (SPF), TU Dortmund University (TUDO), University of Amsterdam (UVA), University of Porto (UPORTO), Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan (AMU) and University of Guadalajara (UDG).

The RE-CITY ITN is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to explore and evaluate new approaches and success factors for shrinking cities. The project aims to train highly skilled experts for the four key themes of shrinking cities: conceptualizing shrinking smart, governing, greening/right-sizing, and regrowing shrinking cities. RE-CITY provides a perspective for the robust and sustainable development of shrinking cities, while supporting elements of economic prosperity, liveability, social stability and innovation. This Innovative Training Network will develop novel solutions for shrinking cities, and investigate case study approaches for dealing with them in terms of the four key themes noted above. On this basis, the RE-CITY programme will develop a framework of tools and methods, including planning instruments. The RE-CITY ITN enables the ESRs to act as leaders, mediators, and consultants of change while fostering innovative solutions and perspectives for these areas.

 Through co-supervision by academics and non-academic partners, the PhDs of RE-CITY will undertake critical, practical, and creative exploration of the contribution and relationships between their individual doctoral study projects across the four interconnecting research themes.

In addition to undertaking doctoral research, the PhDs will engage in collaborative research, workshops, and training  to develop advanced skills and expertise in tackling social, economic and ecological challenges linked to demographic and structural change.

Please note this is a general call for the whole RE-CITY ITN. More specific requirements for individual selection criteria and information on financial support and remuneration will be available at the shortlisted stage.

The full call document is available here, including more detailed information about the individual PhD projects.

Applications should be sent preferably via e-mail as one single PDF file to re-city@ru.uni-kl.de by 12 noon (MET), 15 October 2018.

For inquiries, please write to re-city@ru.uni-kl.de.

09-20-18

2018 Fall Lecture Series at the CUDC

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We have a great line up of speakers and programs at the CUDC this fall. All programs are free and open to the public.

Please join us this Friday, September 21 at noon for a talk by Megan Lykins Reich from the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland entitled Intentions are not Results. Megan will explore the space between our original vision or intent for a project and how it actually materialized in the real world.

09-20-18

Design Diversity Index

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The CUDC and our project partner, Jacinda Walker, recently completed a Design Diversity Index for Ohio. This project was made possible with the generous support of The George Gund Foundation.

The Design Diversity Index project began with a question: How can the design community know which actions are working best to increase diversity in our fields? We collected demographic data about the people currently in design schools and the design professions so that strategies for increasing diversity can be evaluated based on their results.

The resulting Design Diversity Index is a tool for gauging the numbers and percentages of people of color in architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, and urban planning in Ohio’s universities and professional organizations. The Index focuses on representation of African American and Latinx communities. Using available data, the Index establishes current baseline conditions and will track annual progress toward expanding racial diversity in the design professions.

The project found that representation by people of color in the design professions in Ohio is low. For example, African Americans are the second largest ethnic group in Ohio (12.2%), but have the lowest representation in architecture among the state’s five major ethnic groups (African American, Hispanic, Asian, White, and Other). According to the American Community Survey, only 1.29% (76 people) of Ohio’s architects are African American. If we hope to make the design professions more open and inclusive, we can first begin by understanding the design journey–the paths that people take from first discovering an interest in design, to pursuing a design education, and ultimately finding work in a design field.

Mapping the design journey (Jacinda Walker, www.designexplorr.com/research)

Mapping the design journey (Jacinda Walker, www.designexplorr.com)

The Design Diversity Index is an important step toward understanding barriers to diversity in the design professions today, and tracking progress toward greater design diversity in the future.

For more information and to download the Design Diversity Index report. please visit DESIGN DIVERSITY

09-18-18

CUDC Friday Lecture Series: Intention is not Results

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Please join us at noon on Friday, September 21 for a lecture by Megan Lykins Reich entitled, Intention is not Results. Megan is Deputy Director for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) where she helps set a vision for the Museum’s innovative artistic and educational programs and supervises strategic initiatives. She has also curated some remarkable and mind-expanding exhibitions at the museum, including There Goes the Neighborhood; DIRGE: Reflections on [Life and] Death; and Duke Riley: An Invitation to Lubberland. Megan will talk about the gap between what we envision or intend at the beginning of a project and how it actually materializes in real life. 

This lecture is free and open to the public. Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative is located at 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200. Please ring the intercom by the front entrance to be buzzed in.

07-24-18

Speakers on the Square | August 2

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On Thursday, August 2nd, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM, AIA Cleveland is hosting its fifth annual Speakers on the Square Event. Each year the Young Architects / Associates group assembles local practitioners, thinkers, and advocates in dialogue around a theme. The event will be held at the Transformer Station in Ohio City, 1460 W 29th St.

Taking advantage of the current FRONT Triennial, this year’s panel will focus on the role of art in our cities, with contributions from the disciplines of architecture, planning & development, art, and curation. Discussion topics will include:

  • How can architects be better advocates for artists?
  • How can our cities sustainably support artists in our communities?
  • What are local best practices in placemaking & public art investments?
  • How should we think about arts accessibility and equity in our neighborhoods?

Moderated by CUDC Project Manager Kristen Zeiber, the panel will include: Lisa Kurzner, Curator, Front International; Lauren Yager, Local multidisciplinary artist; Allison Lukacsy, Project Manager, City of Euclid/local artist.

We hope to see you there!

MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTER HERE.

07-23-18

Re-City: improving the quality of life in shrinking cities

An international consortium of universities, led by Technische Universitaet Kaiserslautern in Germany, has recently received a $3.3 million euro ($3.9 million dollar) grant from the European Union to explore ways that the quality of life in shrinking cities can be improved, focusing on infrastructure, urban food production, culture, and migration. The CUDC is excited to be part of this consortium, which also includes research teams from Europe, Mexico.

In the US, the term “shrinking cities” has negative connotations. Few US cities would refer to themselves this way. But in Europe, the term is quite common and there is a growing body of research aimed at understanding and addressing the challenges of cities that have lost substantial population and now need to manage growing inventories of vacant buildings and land.

Cleveland_vacancy_560Vacancy in Cleveland. 

Ruhr_vacancyVacancy in Ruhr Valley.

Professor Dr. Karina Pallagst is the professor at TU Kaiserslautern who is leading this project. In the grant proposal, she noted that the city of Cleveland was once a flourishing metropolis, thanks to its steel and automotive industries. But in the last century, with the opening of world markets and the associated steel and oil crises, decline began: Population has declined significantly and vacant properties are impacting entire neighborhoods. Cities in the Ruhr Area and in eastern Germany, for example, have similar challenges. “This phenomenon of shrinking cities can be found all over the world. Reasons for the ongoing decline are demographic change and economic factors such as job losses and corporate migration,” says Professor Pallagst, who has been working on the subject for a long time. “In Japan, for example, the population in almost all cities has already aged. This is why various measures and techniques have been developed in many places,” Professor Pallagst continues. For older people, for example, there is a transport service for shopping, but also a “piggyback” service, where seniors are carried to shopping in hilly terrain.

In the new research project, teams of 16 universities, research institutions, foundations and companies from Europe, the USA, Mexico and Japan will work together on an interdisciplinary basis to find new ways of maintaining or improving the quality of life in shrinking cities. “We look at these processes from a historical, geographical, planning, engineering, social, and economic point of view,” says Dr. Pallagst, who is in charge of the overall management and coordinates the project. “We will compare how different cities deal with these problems.”

One of the issues is how infrastructure networks can be maintained if population decline population causes reduced tax revenues of the cities. This is a topic of interest to the CUDC, tied to research that Dr. John Hoornbeek from Kent State’s College of Public Health and CUDC Director Terry Schwarz initiated in 2009 on Sustainable Infrastructure for Shrinking Cities.

Other topics include the use of alternative energies, the conversion of vacant urban spaces for fruit and vegetable production, and the sustainable design of cities to better protect them against natural disasters. This is closely tied to the CUDC’s work with on vacant land reuse through Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland, and our work in neighborhood-scale climate resilience through the Cleveland Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative, both led by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.

The role culture and migration can play in making shrinking cities more livable is also part of the research project, as is the question of whether and how the social conditions in these cities will change. “The knowledge produced by the RE-CITY project can be incorporated into new interdisciplinary concepts in urban planning,” says Pallagst. “Shrinkage can thus also be seen as an opportunity in the years to come.”

The project also promotes young scientists: 13 PhD students will conduct research in this international network. The project partners will offer intensive training courses to specifically qualify the participants to address the specific concerns of shrinking cities once they graduate and take on roles in public authorities, research institutions or in the private sector.

The project starts in October with a kick-off event on the campus of the TU Kaiserslautern.

 

07-16-18

CUDC welcomes a new Office Manager!

 

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The CUDC would like to welcome our new Office Manager, Michelle Kupiec. She has varied experience in film and television, intercultural communication, and youth-oriented non-profits. She created marketing for a mental health care facility and refined curricula and strategic plans for a youth internship program, both operating in the Greater Cleveland region. Michelle has an honors B.A. in Philosophy from Baldwin Wallace University and holds credentials from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management for Developing Outcomes and Program Design through the Cuyahoga County Youth Work Institute.

We are excited to have Michelle on our team and please contact her for any administrative inquiries.

06-26-18

City of Dreams: Cleveland by Saurav Dhakal

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The Cleveland Council on World Affairs partnered with the U.S. Department of State to host a group of four professional Fellows from India, Pakistan, and Nepal through the program “Professional Fellows Program for Governance and Society.” While in Cleveland, the cohort was embedded within various nonprofit organizations and government entities as professional fellows eager to engage in cultural exchange, learn from their hosts, and provide a value-add to their organization or agency. Kent State’s CUDC was selected to host Saurav Dhakal, Founder of StoryCycle.com, a Nepal-based social venture. Saurav came to gain insights from the CUDC’s Making Our Own Space (MOOS) youth program. Following their stay in Cleveland, the group returned home to complete a “follow-on project” related to their fellowship.

The CUDC was honored to work closely with Saurav Dhakal during his stay. This is his Cleveland story…

When I landed in Cleveland during the 1st week of May 2018, the weather really surprised me. I had borrowed one warm coat thinking that it would be very cold but I had to buy a new umbrella due to the rain. The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie and the wind determines what the weather will be like in the city. I enjoyed my three weeks’ stay in Cleveland—walkable and cycle friendly.

IMG_20180520_200705Sunset from Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor.

I run a social venture, StoryCycle, in Nepal where I tell stories and map the stories of people, places, and products. I travel to promote different parts of the country. I also organize StoryCamps where we train young people on “how to collect stories and promote them on the internet”.  

IMG_20180521_091636Tree canopy provides a shaded path along Prospect Avenue from the hotel to the CUDC offices in downtown Cleveland.

StoryCycle collaborated with Google in late 2014 and organised Everest Story Camp to conduct a mapping project in the Everest region using 360 degree imagery.

While we were traveling to show the Google Maps Project to locals in April 2015, there was a big earthquake and we couldn’t move ahead. It took me six days to get back to my family. Everyone suffered due to the earthquake and I suffered, too.

After a few months, StoryCycle started a new campaign, “Build Your Own Place,” to support the rebuilding process. It served users with an online platform to understand, train, and participate in the rebuilding process at the earthquake affected areas.

It provided the people from the earthquake affected areas a place to put their stories along with the communities’ dreams. Besides, it helped the supporters to pick and support the projects they were interested in. The platform enabled people to meet their prospective investors.

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 11.00.31 PMScreenshot of the “Build Your Own Place” page on the www.storycycle.com website.

After the earthquake, we had political changes. We ratified a new constitution and a new federal structure. Now all national, provincial, and local level elections have been completed and we have a central government: 7 provincial and 753 local units (Municipality and Rural Municipality). It means we have 753 new cities but we don’t have appropriate youth friendly infrastructure and services. So, based on the learning of “Build Your Own Place” we are working on a new campaign/idea “Our Dream City”. The campaign aims to focus on empowering local youth and community institutions to take active part in designing and making their places vibrant by using technology. The campaign focuses on nurturing /attracting and retaining talent, expanding economic opportunities, and creating a robust culture of civic engagement.

saurav at la villa moosSaurav teaches MOOS students at La Villa Hispana how to document environmental features with photographs and GPS coordinates.

This working idea led me to Cleveland, Ohio, USA as a part of the Legislative Fellows Program via World Learning and Cleveland Council on World Affairs. I was placed at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, where I followed one of their interesting programs, Making Our Own Space (MOOS), which “empowers youth with the skills to creatively transform their neighborhood public spaces. Through hands-on outdoor workshops, students design and construct environments and playscapes that are appealing and usable to their community.”

IMG_20180523_174037Discussing photographs during the Making Our Own Space workshop in Cleveland’s La Villa Hispana.

I had the chance to participate in a few workshops and work with youth participants of MOOS in Shaker Heights and La Villa Hispana. I liked the idea that young minds are designing and building projects that are really interesting. And the good part of this program is there are stories of youth—they produce a podcast about their life and city—Making Our Own Stories.

I also got a chance to revisit my idea and action plan. I am going to develop a crowdsourcing platform to collect stories, data, and map points from different cities. And facilitate/collaborate with different partners to design sustainable, livable, and smart place/cities by organizing Map Up Camps, Dream Camps, Story Camps, and Build Camps. This four series of camps is a mix of learning from MOOS. I have tried to customize it to our context and need.

I realize the ideas and thoughts of young people are the same everywhere. They love dreaming and imagination. Youth are dynamic and full of new ideas. We just need to give them space to explore and expand it.

Cleveland also gave me more ideas on locally grown food, drinks, and dreams.

If you would like to know more about my work, visit our website.

Saurav Dhakal
Founder, StoryCycle

 

06-25-18

CUDC Wins 2018 EDRA Great Places Award!

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On June 9th, the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) awarded the CUDC its 2018 Great Places Award for work on the Cleveland Public Library’s CPL150: Community Vision Plan.

From 2014 to 2017, CUDC staff, alongside the Cleveland Public Library, engaged 13 of the City’s 27 branch libraries. Named for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Cleveland Public Library, the CPL150 Community Vision Plan approached library design from the perspective that every neighborhood is fundamentally different, and will need custom-tailored strategies to meet their needs. CPL150 was the combined strategy for determining these neighborhood-specific needs, identifying opportunities, and building consensus among disparate user groups around what their local libraries can and should become.

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Taking cues from the field of Experience Design, the design team envisioned the branch experience in totality: building; grounds; neighborhood; and services. Each of these four experience levels have a significant impact on the overall experience patrons encounter when visiting their local branch. A wide range of engagement tools were developed in order to ensure all community members could find points of entry to suit their comfort level. For each branch the design team held public meetings, open houses, and advisory committee meetings, in addition to targeted focus groups with youth and seniors and a widely distributed multilingual survey. Final recommendations spanned design scales, including ideas for interior reconfiguration, architectural improvements, neighborhood connectivity, and system-wide services. In all, CPL150 engaged over 1500 residents and stakeholders across approximately half of Cleveland’s geography.

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The EDRA Great Places Award recognizes interdisciplinary projects that engage the relationship between people and their environment. Four projects are awarded each year; this year CPL150 was awarded in the Planning category. CUDC Associate Director, David Jurca, was on hand to accept the award in Oklahoma City. Thanks to EDRA for the recognition and to the Cleveland Public Library for partnering on the CPL150 plan!

For more information on the project, check out the video below, or visit the project website: www.cpl150.org

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06-21-18

Jeff Kruth returns from his fellowship in Germany

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CUDC Urban Designer, Jeff Kruth,  just returned from a fellowship awarded by the American Council on Germany. Jeff spent nearly a month traveling in cities across Germany examining the role of urban development policies since German re-unification. Economic and physical restructuring of the city plays a crucial role in the configuration of contemporary German identity and social practices.

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In particular, Jeff looked at peripheral housing estates built during the GDR era. Patterns of demolition and re-investment, privatization of various housing estates, and an influx of new refugee populations make cities like Berlin and Dessau grounds for new social and spatial practices.

Similarly, Jeff looked at adaptive reuse projects in the western part of Germany, and in particular in the Ruhr Valley. The Ruhr Valley is similar to the US “Rust Belt,” in that it has undergone tremendous economic and demographic restructuring. Many of the adaptive reuse projects acknowledge the country’s industrial past, while signaling a transition to cultural and immaterial forms of production.

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Jeff will further the work developed in Germany through continued transatlantic partnerships and research at the CUDC in the coming year.

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