CUDC Students Win APA-Ohio Award

apa_award_studentsLeft to right: Arthur Schmitt, Nti Awakessien, Gabriel Fey, Antonia Marinucci, Thom Nester (not pictured: Tommy Chesnes).

Recent graduates from the CUDC won the Excellence in Student Planning Award from the American Planning Association of Ohio (APA-Ohio), September 27, 2013, for their project Pop Up Rockwell.

Pop Up Rockwell was a temporary transformation of downtown Cleveland’s Rockwell Avenue, designed to test “complete & green street” improvements under real-world conditions. Offered as a graduate urban design studio, students were charged with the task of researching, designing, constructing, installing, and assessing a comprehensive set of physical improvements within four blocks of the corridor.

Led by CUDC Associate Director David Jurca and CUDC Urban Designer Jeff Kruth, the studio included graduate students Nti Awakessien, Tommy Chesnes, Thomas Nester, Gabriel Fey, Arthur Schmidt, and Antonia Marinucci. Over the course of the five-week spring 2012 studio, students engaged with a diverse group of local stakeholders to determine desired enhancements and collect user feedback during the experiment. The students employed the valuable insights gathered on-site to generate field-tested recommendations for permanent street improvements.



Pop Up Rockwell opened the opportunity to have discussions at several levels about public and private space, pedestrian and bicyclist rights, public transportation, ADA accessibility, federal security concerns, and other important issues regarding Cleveland’s premier civic space.

Components of the Pop Up Rockwell project included:

  1. Design and installation of Greater Cleveland’s first cycle track
  2. New pedestrian crosswalks and traffic-calming measures
  3. Experimental stormwater Biofiltration and WiFi enabled (BiFi) public benches
  4. Enhanced Transit Waiting Environment (TWE)
  5. Public Art interventions designed to create a unique identity for the street and sense of place
  6. Data collection from the temporary intervention and future implementation recommendations

It was found that entities who may not otherwise typically engage with one another were able to find common ground through the project, which significantly improved the level of discourse, understanding, and collaboration within and amongst these entities and institutions. Since the project was understood by all to be temporary, many involved parties were more open to accepting new ideas and cross long-standing boundaries.


rockwell-final-presentation-photoRecent CUDC graduates (from left to right) Antonia Marinucci, Nti Awakessien, Gabriel Fey, Arthur Schmitt, and Tommy Chesnes make their final presentation for the Pop Up Rockwell studio in April 2012.

This year was the first time a student project at the CUDC’s graduate program was recognized by APA-Ohio. Every year, students and professionals compete to win awards at an annual conference in several different areas. The trend of Pop Up Rockwell, called tactical urbanism, became popular across the design field in 2012, though the CUDC has been exploring it since 2007 through its Pop Up City initiative.

Pop Up Rockwell from KSU CUDC on Vimeo.

The Pop Up Rockwell project was funded through grants from The George Gund Foundation and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.




The COLD ARCHIVE was recently launched on our website Coldscapes.org!

The ARCHIVE is an online gallery of curated projects that express compelling visions for winter cities. The gallery is comprised of submissions from the COLD Competition and other sources made available to the COLD initiative. The ARCHIVE is intended to grow with submissions from subsequent competition years, providing a useful resource for design practitioners, students, and interested members of the public.

The ARCHIVE is comprised of six categories: Events, Public Art, Urban Landscape, Shelter, Mobility, and Nature.







In addition to the ARCHIVE launch on the website, Volume 6 of Urban Infill: Coldscapes, will be released November 15,2013.  It will serve as an anthology of ideas generated by the COLD Competition and essays from other designers focused on livability in winter cities.

COLD is an initiative of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) and made possible through the generous support of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and The Cleveland Foundation.


Green Corps Class of 2014-2015: Early application Deadline Oct 11th, 2013


In the next few months, the Green Corps will invite 35 college graduates to join the class of 2014-2015.

During Green Corps’ full year paid training program, participants will learn grassroots organizing skills from some of the top practitioners in the country while working on three to five different campaigns such as retiring dirty coal-fired power plants, protecting our drinking water, improving our food system and building the campus fossil fuel divestment movement. Organizers will learn important skills such as recruiting volunteers, developing strategic campaigns and building strong coalitions.

View the Green Corps 2014-2015 Program Guide

Our organizers have worked on behalf of dozens of groups including Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, and the National Wildlife Federation.  Our alumni include Phil Radford, the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, Sarah Hodgdon, National Program Director for Sierra Club and Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote.


The Detroit-Superior Bridge Project Finalist in Place by Design Competition


Place by Design, the SXSW Eco Public Space Design Competition, honors visionary design work that achieves a positive community impact through the creation or re-imagining of public spaces.

The CUDC is excited to be one of 15 finalists chosen by the Place by Design Jury. The final submissions were hand-selected by a distinguished group of leading design theorists and architects, and will be exhibited during the conference held in Austin this year. The finalists will compete for 3 awards to be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 8th. The Place by Design award categories are: Transformative Design, Community Impact, and Global Potential.

About Our Submission

The Detroit-Superior Bridge Project invited a broad spectrum of the public to engage in a fun and productive planning process to transform the bridge’s abandoned lower level into an active public space. Employing temporary, yet realistic, mock-ups of alternative proposals for bicycle amenities, directional signage, and performance spaces, this project enabled attendees to make informed decisions and provides needed inspiration to other initiatives aimed at rewriting the stories of forgotten, yet extraordinary, places.

For more information about the Detroit-Superior Bridge Project, please visit BridgeProjectCleveland.com.


Microsoft PowerPoint - bridge_noaca_May2013.pptx





September 20th Lunch Lecture | Jeff Knopp, ASLA, Behnke Associates


Join us at the CUDC this Friday from 12- 1pm for our Fall Lecture Series featuring Jeff Knopp, ASLA, of Behnke Associates. Jeff’s discussion will focus on Urban Design from a Northeast Ohio Landscape Architect’s perspective.

Jeff Knopp is a LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Irrigation Designer with the Irrigation Association and a WaterSense partner. Jeff’s expertise lies in the area of project management, and has an extensive background in irrigation design, site construction detailing, cost estimating, and specification writing. He has been a part of numerous projects around Northeast Ohio, including renovations and landscape design at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Botanical Gardens, a pedestrian mall at St. Ignatius High School, and project manager for the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway & Multi-purpose Recreation Trails.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens – Terrace

Jeff Knopp, Urban Design from a Northeast Ohio Landscape Architect’s perspective
CUDC, 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115
September 20, 2013

This lecture is free and open to the public.


Join us Friday, Sept. 13th, for a Lunch Lecture with author Gordon Young


Gordon Young is the author of Tear-down: Memoir of a Vanishing City. He will be visiting the CUDC as part of our Fall Lecture Series, Friday, September 13, from 12-1pm.

“At the height of the real estate bubble, Gordon Young and his girlfriend buy a tiny house in their dream city, San Francisco. They’re part of a larger influx of creative types moving to urban centers, drawn by the promise of fulfilling jobs, bars that offer a dizzying selection of artisanal bourbons, and the satisfaction that comes from thinking you’re in a place where important things are happening. But even as Young finds a home in a city sometimes described as 49 square miles surrounded on all sides by reality, a vital part of him still resides in industrial America in the town where he was raised: Flint, Michigan. It’s the birthplace of General Motors, “star” of the Michael Moore documentary Roger & Me, and a place that supplies the national media with never-ending fodder for “worst-of” lists.”

Gordon Young’s insights, hard-hitting and often painfully funny, yield lessons for cities all over the world. He reminds us that communities are ultimately defined by people, not politics or economics.Teardown reveals that the residents of Flint are still fighting, in spite of overwhelming odds, to reinvent their city.

Gordon Young grew up in Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors, where his accomplishments included learning to parallel park the family’s massive Buick Electra 225. After reaching an uneasy truce with the nuns in the local Catholic school system, he went on to study journalism at the University of Missouri and English literature at the University of Nottingham. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Utne Reader, and numerous other publications. Since 2007, he has published Flint Expatriates, a blog for the long-lost residents of the Vehicle City. He is a senior lecturer in the Communication Department at Santa Clara University and lives in San Francisco.

Gordon Young, Tear-down: Memoir of a Vanishing City
CUDC, 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115
September 13, 2013


Position Available at Neighborhood Progress, Inc.


Our friends at Neighborhood Progress, Inc., located on West 25th Street in Ohio City, are currently seeking a part-time urban designer (12 – 16 hours/week) to support the work of the organization’s placemaking portfolio. The right candidate will have firm command of design and planning software and an interest in community-based planning and design work. Send application and questions to Wayne Mortensen at wmortensen[at]npi-cle.org. See the full job posting here.