08-30-16

Sara Zewde | Sept 06


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We are excited to kick off our Fall Lecture Series with Sara Zewde, Designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Sara’s talk, “Design at the Margins of the Urban Renaissance”, will be at the CUDC on Tuesday, September 6th, from 12 -1 PM.

Urbanism is in the midst of a renaissance. Many cities are witnessing large investments in urban infrastructure, development, and civic institutions — even those whose populations are not increasing. Yet still, the design associated with this renaissance provokes tension. Design projects by Zewde located in Houston and Rio de Janeiro will be presented as a departure point for a dialogue on resolving this tension, and pushing design towards a more robust, and culturally relevant, practice.

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Sara Zewde is a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master of City Planning from MIT, and a BA in Sociology and Statistics from Boston University. Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation and a 2016 artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Sara writes and lectures in the discourses of landscape architecture and urbanism and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Silberberg Memorial Award for Urban Design and the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.

Concurrent to working at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Sara continues independent design work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Houston, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Sara finds that in considering the relationship between ecology, culture, and craft, there are often many powerful departure points for design. Her work is currently on display at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale’s Brazilian pavilion.

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Sara will also be speaking at Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) on September 6th, starting at 5:30 PM in the Cerne Lecture Hall. Her talk at the CAED is titled, “Ecologies of Memory”. Both events are free and open to the public. RSVP is not required but requested, please click here.

If you can not make the lecture we will be live streaming the talk on our Facebook page starting 12 PM. 

View our full list of 2016 Fall Lectures here. 

08-11-16

INPLACE Projects Funding Now Available

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INPLACE is a new arts initiative for Youngstown, funded by the  National Endowment for the Arts. It’s directed toward community-driven public art projects that combine storytelling with placemaking.

INPLACE is looking for artists, designers, and other creative people to develop projects around the themes of  Wayfinding, Parking, Lighting, Technology, and Green Infrastructure for the City of Youngstown. Grants of $20,000 will be awarded for five projects to be implemented in the city between November, 2016 and the end of July, 2017.

Projects proposals need to have a clear Youngstown focus, but you don’t need to be based in Youngstown to participate. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the INPLACE website and download the guidelines.

On September 6 from 5-7pm, there will be a community open house for people interested in applying for an INPLACE grant. All proposals need to be a team effort, with at least three team members. The open house will provide an opportunity to meet potential team members and learn about the rich cultural environment of Youngstown.

To participate, you’ll need to pre-register by August 19, by completing the pre-registration form on the INPLACE website.

The CUDC and Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design have deep ties to Youngstown and we’re honored to be advisors to INPLACE. We hope many artists and designers from Cleveland and elsewhere in Northeast Ohio will participate in this initiative.

08-09-16

VACANT: ABANDONED / EMPTY / OPEN by Jane Rossman

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Jane Rossman is a summer intern here at the CUDC. She is a rising senior at Bryn Mawr College, majoring in the Growth and Structure of Cities. She will be speaking at CUDC on August 15th at 12:00 PM. Her lecture will feature the culmination of Jane’s research on the successes and failures of government, community development and residents’ responses to vacant space and properties in the Hough neighborhood and possible remedies. We asked her to write a blog piece as well, as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Hough Uprising—encouraging conversations concerning the history of the neighborhood as well as issues of housing, education, and community development.

VACANT: ABANDONED / EMPTY / OPEN
by Jane Rossman

Jane_blog_1Click image to view larger. Clearance Sections and Project Boundaries, East Hough highlighted, University-Euclid General Urban Renewal Plan, City Planning Commission, Jack Meltzer Associates, November 15, 1960. Public Administration Library.

The transformation of Hough to the empty land it is today began many years before the summer of 1966. Redlining, blockbusting, absentee landlords, and homes bursting at the seams from overcrowding all defined Hough in the 1950s. Slowly the few open spaces became the highlights of the dense neighborhood.

The need for more open space and better housing was answered in policy, but abandoned with lack of enforcement. The promise of renewal was denied. Instead, Hough was faced with slum clearance that left vacant space and increasing dilapidation. Promises abandoned along with increasing racial tension fueled a burning frustration that boiled over in the week long Uprising.

Razing the neighborhood to the ground left the abandoned Hough with more emptiness and blight than residents could handle. The population was reduced to a third its previous number — Hough was transformed into a landscape of the abandoned and empty.

Empty space is the breeding ground for the grass-roots. Hough Area Development Corporation (HADC), Famicos and a community determined to remain and revitalize the neighborhood began the slow path of reversing vacancy. Yet, how does one succeed when there is more empty space than structures and many of the remaining structures are so deteriorated they will soon be felled, adding to the emptiness?

How can one renew the empty space from abandonment to openness and places of intention?

Urban farms and gardens, residents rehabilitating and constructing their own homes, art programs outreach, and local organizations efforts have all helped stimulate change in the neighborhood. The areas currently considered for economic development and transit oriented development, though, do not completely reflect the possible opportunities in Hough.

Jane_blog_2_smallClick image to view larger. Hough Sustainable Development Patterns, (2013), Cleveland City Planning Commission overlaid with Vacant Properties Inventory: Vacant Structures and Land, (2016), Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Jane_blog_3_smallClick image to view larger. Ward 7 Current Development Projects and Economic and Transit Nodes, Hough highlighted, Hough Development Corporation Short Term Plan (3-5 years), (1987) HDC, Public Administration Library.

These hubs of development constructed by local initiatives from the past 40 years create openings for economic development and further exploration of innovative intervention.

08-02-16

CUDC’s 3rd Annual Crooked River Commute

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This summer, August 26-27, Kent State University faculty and staff will embark on the 3rd Annual Crooked River Commute. This kayaking trek along the Cuyahoga River from Kent State University’s main campus (Kent) to Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (Cleveland) is intended to promote the river as a shared regional asset for education, recreation, and sustainability.

Cheer us on as we paddle into the Great Lakes Burning River Fest

Meet us at the finish of the trip. We should arrive in Cleveland on Saturday, August 26th, around 7:15 PM. Grab a beer at the Coast Guard Station during The Burning River Festival and watch us paddle in.

Follow us for updates. 

We’ll keep everyone posted on trip details through the CUDC’s social media accounts.
Follow us at: crookedrivercommute.org
Facebook: ksuCUDC 
Twitter: @ksuCUDC
Instagram: @ksuCUDC

Share our story.

Tell your friends, family and social network about the Crooked River Commute. We’ll be using social media during the trip, using hashtag: #RiverCommute

Learn More. 

Read our summary to learn more about the back story and goals of this trip. 

2015 photos

2014 photos