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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04-24-18

Adventures in the Inner-ring

 

Nice neighborhood street viewCleveland’s first-ring suburbs are at a turning point. Many of these communities sprang to life after World War II, in response to growing demand, increased prosperity, and rising birth rates. Life in the suburbs offered privacy, mobility, and choice. On the downside, suburban development also contributed to white flight and segregated housing patterns.

The mid-20th century was a time of rapid growth and development in the first-ring suburbs. But now, housing demand has moved inward to Downtown Cleveland and some of the city’s vibrant residential neighborhoods. At the same time, housing demand also continues to move outward, to larger houses in growing suburbs at the edges of the region. First-ring suburbs are literally caught in the middle.The aging housing stock in Cleveland’s inner suburbs doesn’t appeal to home buyers as it once did. Housing values in these communities declined during and after the foreclosure crisis, and median housing sales prices have yet to recover their peak pre-foreclosure value.

In 2017, Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Program completed a property inventory of five of Cleveland’s first-ring suburbs: Euclid, Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, South Euclid, and Warrensville Heights. Every building and parcel in these five communities was evaluated and graded, from A (for excellent) to F (for unsafe or distressed). The CUDC worked with the Land Conservancy to communicate the outcomes of this work and to help provide context for the survey. The results are compiled in Communities at the Crossroads: A Survey of Five First-Ring Suburbs.

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The inventory revealed good news—visible blight has been largely eliminated in the suburbs through rehabilitation efforts and demolition. But some concerns remain. The number of vacant houses in first-ring suburbs is increasing. Unlike in some city neighborhoods, where vacant housing often deteriorates and becomes unsafe and unsightly, vacant housing in the suburbs is mostly well-maintained. But long-term vacancies reflect weakness in the real estate market and the potential for future disinvestment and distress.

Read more…

04-23-18

We’re Hiring a Part-Time Office Manager

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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; make sure CUDC is open for business; greet visitors; grant front door entries; 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.

To complete the process, go to: https://jobs.kent.edu/ (Position#998191)

Kent State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

04-12-18

Katherine Darnstadt | Tactical Leverage | May 11

KatherineDarnstadt_Headshot-BW-lowPlease join us at the CUDC on May 11, 2018 at 6:00 PM for Katherine Darnstadt’s talk, “Tactical Leverage”.

Katherine Darnstadt is the founder of Latent Design, a progressive architecture and urbanism firm leveraging civic innovation and social impact to design more equitable spaces and systems. Since founding her practice in 2010, Katherine and her firm have prototyped new urban design systems to advance urban agriculture, support small business, created spaces for youth makers, advanced building innovation, and created public space frameworks. She and the firm have been published, exhibited and featured widely, most notably at the International Venice Architecture Biennial, Architizer A+ Awards, Chicago Ideas Week, NPR, American Institute of Architects Young Architects Honor Award winner and Crain’s Chicago 40 Under 40. She currently teaches at Northwestern University and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

AIA CES credits have been applied for, based in the following learning objectives:

  • How to regarding innovative small scale development, design and construction
  • Real estate risk management and funding
  • Community engagement and public policy
  • Design detailing
  • Practical resiliency strategies
  • Urban design systems thinking / Human centered design
  • Community engagement and public policy

 

Come early at 5:30 PM for a reception with light refreshments featuring the work from the graduate students in Kent State University’s Architecture, Urban Design, and Landscape Architecture Programs exhibited in the CUDC gallery. 

This lecture is co-sponsored with AIA Cleveland. Please RSVP HERE

Katherine Darnstadt
“Tactical Leverage”

5:30 PM- Reception in the gallery
6:00 PM- Lecture

Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115

 

03-22-18

Call for Papers | Alternatives to the Present | June 5

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The CUDC and CAED are excited to host an interdisciplinary conference on the future of urban agendas. The “Alternatives to the Present” conference will take place November 1-2, 2018 in Cleveland. This call for papers seeks a wide array of projects, propositions, and disciplinary critique from the fields of architecture, planning, sociology, urban geography, and allied disciplines. The conference is in collaboration with The Architecture, Media, Politics, Society (AMPS) platform, which is an international nonprofit research organization.

Abstracts are due June 5, 2018 and registration opens July 1, 2018. Any questions should be directed to CUDC Senior Urban Designer Jeff Kruth: jkruth@kent.edu

 

02-26-18

Fireside Chat at the Edgewater Beach House | Mar 1

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Winter can be no joke in Cleveland with the cold weather keeping you indoors, but for the hearty, wintertime is the perfect time to get outside! Join the American Planning Association’s Cleveland Chapter and Cleveland Metroparks for a unique outdoor panel discussion on winter activities next to the fireplace at the Edgewater Beach House!

The fireside chat will feature Associate Director of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, David Jurca and artist/educator Donald Black.

Thursday, March 1, 2018
5:30 PM

Lakefront Reservation
7600 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway
$10/person (includes chili & hot chocolate)
cash bar

02-26-18

Happy 100th Birthday, Detroit-Superior Bridge!

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The Detroit-Superior Bridge turns 100 this year. The structure, also known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge, was the largest two-level steel and concrete reinforced bridge in the world when it was completed in 1918.

1946Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University.

Thousands of people drive across the street level of the bridge every day. But just below, the former streetcar level of the bridge remains one of Cleveland’s hidden gems. Streetcar service was discontinued in 1955 and the lower level bridge has been waiting to be discovered ever since. The Cuyahoga County Engineering Department opens the lower level of the bridge for tours periodically, including in September of 2017 for Sparx in the City, which drew record crowds to this beautiful and underutilized space. The Ingenuity Fest has taken place on the lower level of the bridge. And CUDC staff and students have fond memories of our first experiments on the bridge in the Fall of 2009.

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In 2012, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) awarded a planning grant to explore the possibility of re-opening the lower level of the bridge as a public space and bike/pedestrian connection.

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The CUDC collaborated with Environmental Design Group, Levin Ventures, and a host of other partners to explore design alternatives that would capitalize on the uniquely beautiful attributes of the streetcar-level space.

11_13_12 night center spanCredit Jeff Kruth, CUDC

In the same year, the Cleveland Design Competition focused on the streetcar level of the bridge and attracted 200 entries from designers around the world, suggesting visionary ideas for the future reuse of the space.

The bridge connects Public Square to Ohio City and could also provide important linkages to Irishtown Bend and Canal Basin Park–two exciting and long-awaited new public spaces along the Cuyahoga River. In celebration of the bridge’s birthday, interest is once again percolating about the streetcar level space. Please watch the Bridge Project Facebook page for updates and announcements of future activities.

 

02-22-18

Mitch McEwen Lecture |Activism as Research and Research as Activism | Feb 28

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V. Mitch McEwen, principal of McEwen Studio and co-founder of A(n) Office, a collaborative of design studios in Detroit and New York City, is giving a talk entitled “Activism as Research and Research as Activism” at the CUDC on Wednesday, February 28 from 12-1 pm. The event is free and open to all.

Mitch McEwen’s work has been commissioned by the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the Istanbul Design Biennial. McEwen Studio projects in Detroit have produced a series of operations on houses previously owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority. These include a combined residence and flower incubator for an engineer at 3M, a strategy for 100 houses selected by the City of Detroit to densify the neighborhood of Fitzgerald, and an award-winning repurposing of a balloon-frame house titled House Opera. Her work in urban design and architecture began at Bernard Tschumi Architects and the New York City Department of City Planning, as well as founding the Brooklyn-based non-profit SUPERFRONT.

You’re welcome to bring your lunch and we’ll have snacks and sweets for all.

If you can’t make it to the noon talk, Professor McEwen will be giving a second talk, entitled, “The Violence of Representation” at
6:15 pm on February 28 in the Cene Lecture Hall, College of Architecture and Environmental Design on the Kent State Campus.

“Activism as Research and Research as Activism”
Mitch McEwen
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
12:00 — 1:00 pm
CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Free and open to the public

02-12-18

Call for Proposals! 2018 Midwest Urban Design Charrette

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This fall, the CUDC and our three academic partners – Lawrence Technological University’s College of Architecture and Design in Detroit, MI; the State University of New York at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY; and Ball State University’s Urban Design Center in Indianapolis, IN – will bring graduate students in urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture to a selected community for a 3-4 day intensive design workshop (or charrette). The Midwest Urban Design Charrette has been conducted for seven consecutive years, most recently traveling to Detroit, MI in 2017 and Akron, OH in 2016.

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The CUDC is looking for a community partner from a city, suburb, town, or neighborhood in western New York; northwestern Pennsylvania; northern Ohio; northern Indiana; or the lower peninsula of Michigan, facing a unique urban design or planning challenge and in need of fresh ideas and perspectives.

This year, the Midwest Urban Design Charrette is specifically seeking communities with issues related to one or more of the following areas of interest:
• resilience to the impacts of climate change;
• environmental justice;
• patterns of migration into or out of a community, either domestically or internationally; and
• immigrant communities.

If you’d like for your community to be considered for this year’s charrette, please send a brief proposal no later than April 2, 2018 to cudc@kent.edu. Please see our full RFP in .pdf format here for submission details.

Thank you for your interest, & we hope to hear from you soon!

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01-18-18

Cleveland Housing Issues & Opportunities: A Panel Discussion | Jan 23

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The Cleveland Public Library will moderate a panel discussion on Cleveland Housing Issues & Opportunities on Tuesday, January 23rd at 5:00 PM. Community housing leaders from around Cleveland including the CUDCThriving Communities, CMHA, Third Federal and Slavic Village Development will discuss local successes in demolishing blighted properties and renovating, reusing, restoring, and rehabilitating older buildings to serve as houses for local residents. The conversation is part of the One Community Reads program focused in 2018 on the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

CUDC Urban Designer, Kristen Zeiber, will be there to discuss the design/REbuild house and New Life for Old Homes: Design Guide for the Low-Cost Rehab of Vacant & Abandoned Housing. New Life for Old Homes is a  guidebook of low-cost, high impact ideas for the rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned houses that would otherwise be demolished.

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Cleveland Housing Issues & Opportunities: A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
5:00 PM
Cleveland Public Library – Fleet Branch
7224 Broadway Ave, Cleveland, OH 44105

 

01-18-18

Year of Vital Neighborhoods Kickoff | Jan 26

The CUDC will join the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability as they kick off The Year of Vital Neighborhoods on Friday, January 26 from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM in City Hall Rotunda (601 Lakeside Ave). 

This event will feature dozens of local leaders working at a neighborhood level to make Cleveland more vibrant and sustainable. Take this opportunity to engage with and learn from these organizations.

This event is FREE and open to the public. RTA’s FREE trolley stops right in front of City Hall. Vehicle parking is available at Willard Garage at regular rates (and bike parking is free!). Photo ID is required to enter City Hall.

For more information on Sustainable Cleveland 2019, visit:  www.SustainableCleveland.org.

Year of Vital Neighborhoods Kickoff
Friday, January 26, 2018
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
City Hall Rotunda
601 Lakeside Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114

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01-04-18

Friend of the CUDC, Chris Maurer of redhouse studio, mentioned in EARTHER article

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For their work with bio-materials, or Bioterials as they call them, redhouse studio and  principal architect Christopher Maurer were mentioned in a recent article for EARTHER.com titled The Cities of the Future May be Built of Mushrooms.  While maybe not mushrooms per se, redhouse is doing exciting research and projects  that use mycelium, the threadlike branching hyphae of fungi (think mushroom roots), to bind together waste organic matter like straw, corn stover, or sawdust. Some commercial manufacturers are already making materials for packaging and textiles (ecovative design and Mycoworks) using mycelium. redhouse looks to incorporate the natural abilities of the bioterials to insulate, provide structure, and resist fire to make whole structures. 

materialsMaterial samples for testing. 

Having worked in Africa for number of years in under-served communities redhouse hopes to develop techniques that address food security, water security, and economic opportunity, simultaneously with creating eco-friendly shelter. Mushrooms provide high protein food source with minimal energy and resource input and the waste from growing mushrooms can be used to make shelter and filter water and soil. See redhouse’s BIOSHELTER.  They are working with local chef, and fellow fun-guy, Jeremy Umansky of Larder Delicatessen to find palatable outlets of the gourmet mushrooms that are not always prized in the developing world.

bioshellInterior of bioshelter. 

Their newest project could use your support. In BIOCYCLER, redhouse imagines recycling homes entirely. By grinding up lumber, drywall, and insulation of demolished homes and using it for substrates for bio-binders, redhouse can save material from landfills and create new and green building materials directly on site. See their KICKSTER to learn more. 

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