2020 ULI Hines Competition: Miami!


This January, two teams of graduate students from Kent State University and Cleveland State University competed in the annual Urban Land Institute Hines Student Competition, a two-week competition presenting interdisciplinary student teams with a real-world challenge in the design & financing of large-scale urban developments.

The 2020 site, announced on Day 1 of the competition, was in the city of Miami, FL, with a study area north of Downtown straddling the Wynwood and Edgewater neighborhoods. A regional rail line currently divides the site, but plans are underway to add a station somewhere in the site vicinity. The competition brief emphasized the importance of multimodal transit, climate resiliency, affordability, and the integration of local arts & culture.




Cleveland urban design & development professionals advised the student groups throughout the competition period – thank you, jurors, for your time!

The final schemes both integrated new rail stations, mixed use development, affordable housing, open space, and sensitivity to climate & stormwater considerations. Even with only two weeks to develop the project, the final boards submitted were unique and thoughtful, with complex design development at multiple scales.

The Blueway:







Judy Haddad (MArch), TyJuan Swanson-Sawyer (MArch/MUD), Alex Long (MArch/MUPD), Max Hentosh (MArch/MUD), Chad Boston (MArch/MUD)



PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation


PowerPoint Presentation


John Dixon (MArch), Clayton O’Dell (MArch/MUD), Kaitlyn Boniecki (MArch/MUD), Elizabeth Nardi (MUPD), Chelsea Beytas (MUPD)

You can view all the 2020 Hines Competition finalists here.

Congratulations to all our students for an intense and successful two weeks!


CUDC Spring Programs Cancelled

2020 soc med post templates

Due to concerns about COVID-19, all of the remaining spring programs at the CUDC have been cancelled and the CUDC’s 20th anniversary celebration will be postponed. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this difficult time.


Urban Indeterminacy


As we all struggle to adapt to the growing impacts of the coronavirus, it is increasingly apparent that volatility (in more than just public health) is the new normal; climate conditions, financial markets, political landscapes, and more will continue to shift in dramatic, quick, and unpredictable ways. The built environment as we know it is in many ways resistant to the changes brought on by this kind of environmental, economic, and social context—buildings are costly to adapt, infrastructure can be notoriously vulnerable to shock, and most urban systems are not designed to be flexible and responsive.


If you, like many of us, have suddenly found yourself with a lot of alone time for reading and an increasing sense of urgency about how indeterminacy impacts our cities, we’d like to recommend ‘Under the Brownstones, the Beach,’ an article by Ivy Pan & Foad Vahidi featured in our latest edition of Urban Infill, FUTURECITY. The authors imagine a social realm that thrives in unpredictable times, particularly in relation to market volatility, through a network of impermanent, small-scale public spaces. They envision a flexible, reactive system that enables the appropriation of temporarily disused spaces within the city, like “a construction site halted in winter, a foundation pit vacated during an economic downturn, and a mound of rubble after demolition.” The spaces are intimate, as a reaction to more common (and more market-supported) production of large-scale public spaces, and the system is persistent, even if none of their proposed individual social spaces is.


Pan & Vahidi’s work can be found in the Adaptations section of FUTURECITY, along with other essays and research on how cities can be responsive to our changing world. The publication as a whole interrogates many aspects of current and future urban challenges, also including pieces on data / privacy, automation, de-growth, and more. Order a copy of the book here, delivered right to the door of your temporarily socially isolated location.


Erie, PA: 2019 Community Design Charrette


In October of 2019 the CUDC staff and 6 graduate students in Architecture, Urban Design, & Landscape Architecture traveled to Erie, PA for a 3-day urban design charrette. Hosted by the Jefferson Educational Society, the aim of the Charrette was to examine the existing conditions of Erie’s Bayfront area, currently cut off from the Downtown & adjacent neighborhoods by a series of infrastructural, topographic, and programmatic barriers. The design team was charged with envisioning new possibilities for connecting along & across these barriers, in order to more seamlessly integrate the Bayfront into the larger city & region.




The students had frequent touchpoints with the Erie community throughout the charrette weekend, with daily presentations and informal check-ins to ensure their work was aligning with stakeholder needs. The final work, presented in draft form the final day of the Charrette, compiled ideas ranging from small-scale wayfinding & materials to large-scale pedestrian networks, with space for public comment and final tweaks by the CUDC staff after the charrette weekend.





The design team ultimately proposed not a single “iconic connection,” but instead a series of pathways & crossings that could take on an iconic character and experiential quality in their own right. Larger-scale connections to new park spaces, Presque Isle, and elsewhere were examined, as well as ideas for landscaping, wayfinding, programming, four-season activation, public art, and maritime heritage.





The final report, presented to the public at the Jefferson Educational Society by Project Manager Kristen Zeiber on January 30th, 2020, can be found on the Jefferson Educational Society website:

Final Charrette Report


Very special thanks to the Jefferson Educational Society for hosting a wonderful weekend, and to the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, the Erie Community Foundation, the Mastriana Endowment, and NAIOP for supporting the 2019 Community Design Charrette. Thanks also to Michael Fuhrman and John Vanco for their stalwart support & enthusiasm across the Charrette weekend and beyond!


Big Data & Urban Futures


The 8th issue of the CUDC’s journal Urban Infill features a collection of articles about big data and smart cities including American City 2.5 by Anna Acklin and Mark Linder. Their article explores the application of geographic information system (GIS) software as a tool of urban design. Here’s an excerpt:

The county-wide maps of American City 2.5 are a revision and expansion of a commission to study Onondaga Creek in Syracuse, New York, as a potential locus of public-private investment. American City 2.5 extends that study to an analysis and modeling of spatial data across the Onondaga County to distinguish latent communities, institutional networks, and public infrastructures through three general maps that capture the county’s economic, cultural, and hydrologic character. Exercising a variety of investigated techniques within the software, the project infuses census data into the map’s various layers, inviting a unique graphical representation of these newly designed or more informed components, territories, infrastructures, and ecologies that feed the site.


Consider the land parcel. In its most basic sense, the parcel may be understood as boundary lines demarcating plots of land at the ownership scale. In efforts to exhibit the economic character of plot ownership and neighborhoods across the county, the parcels are formally manipulated through GIS to varying degrees of distortion based on the population of college students, and are then color-coded on a gradient based on the proportion of the population without high school diplomas. The web-like feature created by this process reflects the emergence of a more bottom-up, or organic, understanding of the economic culture county-wide through the scale of the parcel.

Similar operations were employed across the three base maps to manipulate features in accordance with census information to reveal the economic, cultural, and hydrologic latencies throughout Onondaga County. In pushing the graphic capacities of the software, the layers are accentuated and expressive of the now merged features and transformed census data, subverting the typical hierarchical understanding of mapped elements.


The hydrology and geographical features of Onondaga County, New York

While the images themselves are abstract, it is this very attribute that welcomes interpretation without discrimination and creative speculation. The image’s ability to re-present and inspire design proposals remains rooted in specificity, but can simultaneously confirm, accentuate, and/or elaborate intuitions in one’s understanding of a city. As an urban design tool, this capability creates an alternative understanding of site analysis and creates ranges of new potential within proposed solutions that can be more particular as they respond to a more informed site.

To read the complete article plus others on the themes of big data, development, and adaptation, you can pick up a copy of Urban Infill No. 8 at the CUDC for $10 or order it online.

2020 soc med post templates

And it you’re interested in big data and GIS as an urban design and community development tool, please join us for a lecture by Sarah Williams on MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab on March 6, 2020 at 5:30 pm. Sarah will share some of the Lab’s work and discuss how big data can be used to generate policy change. Drinks and snacks at 5:30pm; Sarah’s talk begins at 6pm.

Event is free and open to the public but registration is appreciated.




Presentation of Winning ZeroThreshold Competition Designs


In 2019, North Coast Community Homes sponsored a design competition seeking new ideas for for accessible housing, with funding from the Cleveland Foundation and technical support from the CUDC. The competition entries were exhibited at venues throughout Cleveland in late 2019 and a competition catalog is in the works.

First prize went to the New York City-based Brandt : Haferd for their project SIDE by SIDE (pictured above) which incorporated the firm’s playful claymation model aesthetic with three major design principles to create an innovative, design-forward accessible house:

  • An Urban Approach
  • A New Take on the Multi Family/Communal House
  • Accessibility at Many Scales. 

On February 13, 2020 at 4 pm, the Neighborhood Design Center, is hosting an exhibition and presentations by several of the winning designers at the NDC, 1445 Summit Street, Suite 300 in Columbus. For more information, contact the NDC at 614.221.5001 or info@columbusndc.org



Erie, Pennsylvania: Reconnecting the Bayfront


Presentation at the Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State Street, Erie, Pennsylvania

JANUARY 30TH,2020 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

How can Erie better connect its bayfront with the downtown and adjacent neighborhoods? That was precisely the mission of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaboration when it came to Erie and the Jefferson Educational Society in late October, 2019 for an intensive weekend of study and design. The final report of the creative work by students and faculty of Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental design will be presented at the program, titled Erie, Pa.: Reconnecting the Bayfront. That is also the title of the group’s report published by the Jefferson Educational Society. Lead program presenter will be Professor Kristen Zeiber, urban designer.



Future Cities Book Release + Mariana Mogilevich Lecture


Book release for Urban Infill 8: Future City, featuring a lecture by Mariana Mogilevich entitled, Between Policy and Poetry

Friday, January 31, 2020

Reception and Book Release at 5:30pm | Lecture at 6pm

CUDC Gallery, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland

We’re kicking off a year of celebrations marking the CUDC’s 20th anniversary with a book release for the Volume 8 of the CUDC’s journal, Urban Infill 8: FutureCity. FutureCity explores emerging ideas in urban design and city-making and features articles and interviews about the impacts of big data and the Smart Cities movement; contemporary development practices; and urban adaptation strategies.


Mariana Mogilevich will give a talk entitled Between Policy and Poetry: What can a publication contribute to the collective work of citymaking? A view from New York City. Mariana is the Editor-in-Chief of Urban Omnibus, a publication of the Architectural League of New York.

Free and open to the public. REGISTRATION

Co-sponsored by the American Planning Association’s Cleveland Chapter. Event attendees are eligible for one hour of AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) credit.

Urban Infill is made possible through the generous support of The George Gund Foundation.



We’re hiring!

we-re hiring

The CUDC is looking for a part-time Office Manager. This is a temporary (four month) position.

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) at Kent State University is seeking applicants for a part-time Administrative Clerk/Office Manager at our downtown Cleveland facility.  This position will provide part-time administrative, budget, and clerical support to the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, located in downtown Cleveland. The office manager will maintain all budget documents for projects and the facility; schedule meetings; greet visitors; grant front door entries; and assist with student concerns.

Bookkeeping knowledge is required.

Position is Part-Time, 20 hours per week.

Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm preferred.

Submit all required materials as an on-line application to KSU Human Resources. Position Number: 989995

Kent State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer



The Architecture Play


This Friday, November 8th from 5-7 pm, the next act of The Architecture Play is presented at the John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design, Kent State University, 132 South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio.

The Architecture Play is a collaborative multi-annual project by the A+D Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles and Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

Processed as either verb or noun, ‘play,’ despite its numerous instantiations, never obscures the most crucial aspect inherent to all of its forms and shades: a raw potential whose explorative drive pushes the states of being and knowledge, as well as the pre-existent boundaries of the physical and metaphysical environment, in a constant effort to derive value from play. Intimately entwined, play has thus accompanied scientific progress since before the Enlightenment.

The Architecture Play, a collaborative project conceived with these oscillating definitions in mind, similarly traces the ludic elements of the architectural discipline while projecting the potentialities of play beyond its preconceived limits. In four acts—a nod to its theatrical definition—the project constructs a complex ecology of actors and networks, of things and thoughts exchanged, transformed, and assembled to probe new avenues for pedagogy, practice, history, and theory of architecture; not simply transgressing boundaries but moving them altogether.

Organized by Ivan Bernal, Clemens Finkelstein & Anthony Morey, with participants Taraneh Meshkani, Katie Strand, Jon Yoder, Irene Chin, Gary Fox, Jia Gu, Lisa L. Hsieh, Kyle May, Antonio Petrov, and Leila Anna Wahba.

Produced with the support of Faith Chrostowski, Allison McClure, Benjamin Cyvas, Max Hentosh, Nick Ingagliato, Austin Keener, Vincent Noce.


FedTalk: What is Behind the Persistence of the Racial Wealth Gap?


Black households in the U.S. have, on average, considerably less wealth than white households. Why hasn’t this gap closed over the past half century, even with the passage of civil rights legislation? Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland have found that, together with barriers including discrimination, the primary driver maintaining the wealth gap is that the earning power of blacks in the labor market continues to trail that of whites. That’s contrary to other studies which generally concluded that the wealth gap was “too big” to be explained by differences in income.

  • How can economics inform us about racial inequities in wealth accumulation?
  • Why has the wealth gap between blacks and whites persisted?
  • What can be done and how long will it take to actually close the wealth gap if we maintain the current course?


  • Dionissi Aliprantis, Senior Research Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Daniel R. Carroll, Research Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


  • Jennifer Jordan, Anchor/Reporter, WJW-TV Fox 8


  • Stephanie McHenry, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance, Cleveland State University
    Randell McShepard, Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer, RPM
    Jill Rizika, Executive Director, Towards Employment

Panelists will take part in an audience Q&A following moderated discussion.

Space is limited. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required and will close November 8, 2019, or as soon as all seats are filled.


OUTprint / INprint: What does dignity mean?


Tour and presentation by Malaz Elgemiabby
October 31, 2019 | 9-10 AM
Riverview Welcome Center, 1701 West 25th Street, Cleveland


Malaz Elgemiabby, a Cleveland-based design consultant from Sudan, will discuss a public art project highlighting the potential of a future park overlooking the Cuyahoga River and the downtown skyline at Irishtown Bend.  The Welcome Center, used for more than a decade as a storage facility, is just north of CMHA’s Riverview apartments.


Planners envision turning the one-story, gable-roofed building into a gateway for the proposed 17-acre park at Irishtown Bend that will take shape on a weed-covered slope downhill, once occupied by 19th-century Irish immigrant laborers.

Malaz’s project grew out of her participation in the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, which engages local and international artists in creative ventures in Cleveland. The project, completed in partnership with LAND Studio, is a local manifestation of a global initiative launched by the French photographer known as JR, who plasters large black-and-white photographs on buildings to broadcast the identity of participants. The work grew out of extensive community discussions in Ohio City.

This event is free and open to the public. More information: cudc@kent.edu | 216.357.3434




BAT CAMP: ASLA Student Award Winner!

big boi

Congratulations to Katherine Kelleher, 2019 Graduate of Kent State’s Master of Landscape Architecture Program, for her Student Merit Award from the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Her advisor on the project was Dr. Reid Coffman.


The Indiana Bat is an endangered species in Ohio. Their population has significantly declined since the mid 1970s and continues to struggle. There are many factors for this including habitat loss and the detrimental fungal disease known as White Nose Syndrome. Bat Camp creates a space mutually beneficial for all. The structures create a habitat which supports life and prosperity at Acacia Reservation in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Katherine’s design addresses and enhances the broader ecosystem including plant and animal life.

The Indiana Bat is a hibernating species. From about mid-October to mid-March the Indiana Bat will hibernate in limestone caves in Ohio and adjacent states. The fungus of White Nose Syndrome unfortunately lives in these caves. The bats can contract the fungus here or from contact with infected bats. Starting in about mid-March the bats will emerge from the caves and start heading towards their spring and summer time roosts.


Existing conditions at Acacia Reservation are accommodating to the Indiana Bat. The ecologically patchy environment provides diversity for habitat. The Indiana Bat likes to forage down long, open corridors. The wet meadows are part of a network of wet depressions and established wetlands which host diverse aquatic insects that the bat will feed on. The typical trees that host the Indiana Bat are typically along forest edges near water, or in open fields. The scale of the reservation provides several spaces for the bat to meet their daily needs.

The structure’s design is flexible and constantly changing. Layers of untreated wood become more habitable as it decays, opening up more space to occupy. The roosting spaces from the decay will come naturally – but there is flexibility to adjust the design to manually beat up the wood before being added to the structure to give faster habitability. The design is simple and responsive, allowing adjustments and change every season to better accommodate the bats.

The structure’s interior is built with copper. Copper has antimicrobial properties that radiate to adjacent material. This gesture is an attempt to slow down the spread of White Nose Syndrome. Additionally, the copper becomes an ideal hanging space for the bats once the wood has decayed enough.

Katherine conducted a series of sun studies to demonstrate the dynamic changes that the structures go through during season change and time change. Indiana Bats are especially particular to temperature. The scale, and multiple roosting options allow the bats to have ample choices to move around for ideal comfort and temperature.

Bat Camp uses ecomimicry to create a space for cohabitation at Acacia. This shared space is beneficial for the Indiana Bat, plant life, pollinators, people, and more. The design is adaptable from year to year, with the goal of becoming more mutually beneficial for all with each passing year.


2019 Graduate Programs Open House


Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design presents
2019 Graduate Programs Open House | November 2, 2019

Explore graduate education at Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). Whether you’re beginning a new career path or you have it already in place—learn about attaining your next level of education!

The CAED offers a wide array of graduate programs in architecture (including two unique dual-degree programs), urban design, construction management, healthcare design, landscape architecture, and graduate-level research in environmental design. Join us to learn more about all our graduate programs, meet faculty, staff, and students. You are welcome to visit the Kent campus and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative facilities. You can choose to attend both locations or just one. Reimbursement for designated parking is available.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Kent State University
Center for Architecture and Environmental Design
132 South Lincoln Street, Kent OH 44240
Room 120 (Cene Lecture Hall)

9:00 am – 10:00 am | Registration
10:00 am – 10:30 am | Welcome and all CAED Program Introductions
10:30 am–11:30 pm | Program Breakout Sessions – 20 minutes each
11:30 am – 12:00 pm | Tour of the Center for Architecture and Environmental Design
11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Lunch [provided]

Cleveland Studios and CUDC
1309 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm | Tour and presentation in Cleveland: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design



Building Youth Power In Cities


Image credit: Cody Rouge & Warrendale Neighborhood Framework Investigators (HECTOR, Rodney Bridges, Marnesha Davenport, Khadijah Harris, Taylin Hodges, Skylah Pounds, Mouley Yusef Sabour, LaKendra Reynolds-Smith, Lillie Reynolds-Smith, Alexcia Stoner)

How are design & planning professionals collaborating with young people to build cities for the future?

Please join us for a special event celebrating five years of the CUDC’s Making Our Own Space program.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 6:30 PM
Shaker Heights Public Library, 16500 Van Aken Boulevard

The event will include the release of a new guide to youth engagement and community design, inspired by the projects created by Cleveland area students through Making Our Own Space.


It will also include a presentation by Jae Shin and Damon Rich entitled, Building Youth Power in Cities: Newark/Detroit/Cleveland at tha Crossroads. Jae and Damon are urban designers at HECTOR in Newark, New Jersey. They will discuss the triumphs and frustrations of inter-generational work to make change and build things in Newark, Philadelphia, and Detroit.

Free and open to the public. All ages are welcome. Refreshments will be served. REGISTER HERE


This event is made possible through the generous support of The Saint Luke’s Foundation.


Co-sponsored by APA Ohio. AICP Certification Maintenance credits (CM: 1.5 hours) available for certified planners.

Image credit: Cody Rouge & Warrendale Neighborhood Framework Investigators (HECTOR, Rodney Bridges, Marnesha Davenport, Khadijah Harris, Taylin Hodges, Skylah Pounds, Mouley Yusef Sabour, LaKendra Reynolds-Smith, Lillie Reynolds-Smith, Alexcia Stoner)