CUDC Welcomes Sagree Sharma as Project Manager

Sagree Sharma will join the staff of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative as Project Manager starting March 16. Sagree received her Master of City Planning degree from MIT in 2007. Her undergraduate education in architecture was at the Rizvi College of Architecture at University of Mumbai.

In her practice Sagree focuses on design at multiple scales, using a systems approach to complex urban problems. She brings expertise in ecological planning to all her work, and she is particularly interested in issues of community outreach and equity in the urban design process. This is reflected in her graduate work, which included service as an MIT Public Service Fellow in post-Katrina New Orleans, where she helped establish a startup non-profit doing environmental remediation and redevelopment.

After completing her masters, Sagree was one of two initial hires to the New York based urban design and planning practice of Arup, the internationally regarded design and engineering firm. There she managed notable projects for public agencies, including the Long Island 2035 Sustainability Plan (for the Long Island Regional Planning Council) and the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, an innovative vision plan for a 250 acre, green economic and social hub centered around urban agriculture, food processing and distribution.

Sagree’s skills in ecological planning and project management enhance the CUDC’s capacity to serve clients looking for innovative ways to get the highest possible performance out of potential development and renewal projects in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.


Cleveland Stories: True until proven otherwise

“The world is made of stories, not atoms.”
-Muriel Rukeyser

The CUDC’s upcoming journal will be entitled Cleveland Stories: True until proven otherwise. As the name suggests, we’re interested in exploring the connection between physical place and meaning through the creation of narratives. Following a similar format to our previous journals, we’re working with a diverse group of local and international designers, artists and writers to generate content that addresses the various modes of urban storytelling and to gather an archive of compelling stories in need of embodiment.

The Cleveland Stories project is larger than just a book, it includes a StorySlam event, exhibition at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Reinberger gallery and neighborhood based temporary interventions.

The StorySlam is an opportunity for individuals to share their favorite story about a Cleveland place – past, present or future. Fact or fiction. Funny, sad, exciting…it’s up to you. The best stories will be published in Cleveland Stories: True until proven otherwise. For the StorySlam, we’re looking for:

  • historians and story tellers who can tell us about lesser-known aspects of Cleveland’s history — particularly stories that are about a specific place in the city
  • creative writers who can invent a useful fiction for a Cleveland neighborhood and convince us of this alternate reality
  • artists and urban designers

Cleveland StorySlam
Thursday, Feb 24th
CIA’s Coventry Center
Upper level of 1854 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights

Come to the StorySlam February 24 and toss your name in the hat. We’ll pick ten people to tell their stories. Remember that you have to tell a story, not read one. No notes, papers, or cheat sheets are allowed. You’ll have five minutes to tell your story, so come rehearsed!

The StorySlam isn’t only for story tellers – good story listeners are also welcome. If you hear an inspiring story, enter our Shoebox Diorama Challenge by building a small scale model of your design intervention idea. Each winning diorama artist will receive $50!

You can RSVP to the StorySlam on our Facebook event page.

We’ll release more details on the contributors to the book and the gallery exhibit soon, so please visit www.ClevelandStoryBook.com for more information and updates on the project. You can also contact us at stories@popupcleveland.com or use our online form to submit your stories. We’re looking forward to seeing (and hearing) you on Feb. 24th!


Reimagining Cleveland Forum & Photo Exhibit Opening

Thursday, February 17, 2011
4:00 – 6:30 pm
1717 Euclid Avenue
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Cleveland State University

The Levin College Forum, NPI and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative have organized a public forum on the Reimagining Cleveland project to answer the question, “What’s going on here?” The program offers an opportunity to learn from individuals who have actually created gardens, orchards, vineyards and farms from vacant land. The speakers include the CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, who will present a look to the future of Reimagining Cleveland. Immediately following the forum, attendees are invited to celebrate the opening of an exhibit in the forum gallery showcasing the work of photographers and storytellers illuminating the narratives of the reimagining grantees.

For more information, including the event’s full agenda, please visit: http://urban.csuohio.edu/forum/events/02_17_11_Reimagining_Cleveland.html

The event is free and open to the public, but please register online or call 216.523.7330.