Act Now | Be A Part of the Downtown Community & Development

step up cle logo

In June of 2014 the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) will unveil their Vision and Tactical Plan, Step Up Downtown, which will create a holistic vision for linking and enhancing Downtown development districts, public spaces and assets.

DCA invites you, as part of the downtown community, to participate in this critically important process.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Attend DCA’s public meeting. Contribute ideas and feedback on how to prioritize downtown’s future. Tuesday, March 18th from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Old Stone Church. For more information and to RSVP, click here. Registration is requested.
  2. Guide the future of Downtown Cleveland by taking this brief survey.  Downtown stakeholders’ responses are critical for the final plan, click here.
  3. Spread the word on social media. Step Up @DowntownCLE: Influence downtown’s future today: {http://bit.ly/stepupdowntown}


Two CUDC Teams, in Partnership with CSU & CWRU, Receive ULI Honorable Mention

We are pleased to announce that two participating teams from the CUDC have been awarded an Honorable Mention from this year’s ULI Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition! A two week intensive urban design and finance competition for graduate students, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) received more than 160 entries from 72 universities across the US and Canada this year. This year’s site in Nashville, TN asked students to address large scale issues of flooding, workforce housing, and to create connections across neighborhoods. Five teams comprising of Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and Cleveland State University (CSU) students joined forces at the CUDC in mid-January.

Team “Second Nature,” consisting of CUDC students Claire Markwardt and Neil Reindel, and CWRU students Dan Whalen, Abraham Weiner, and Tom Brown proposed the daylighting of an underground stream, a series of flood control measures, and development along the Cumberland River’s edge.

second-nature-internal-blockProposed Market and Mixed Use Development along the newly day lit French Lick Tributary.

second-nature-section-strategiesSection showing sustainable interventions and flood management strategies used throughout the site. Click to view full size.

Team “E.C.H.O System” comprised of CUDC students Jeff Jasinksi, Matt Dureiko, and Brian Pagnotta, as well as CWRU student John Ostroske and CSU student Michael Mears. Their scheme introduced a series of “spillways” and green spaces as neighborhood amenities between urban blocks, while enhancing the Cumberland River waterfront through a variety of green spaces and a large scale farmers’ market.

echo-system-farmers-marketStreet view showing people interacting with the landscape and each other along the main pedestrian corridor that links the site and baseball field with the hotel, market, and river.

echo-system-birds-eyeAerial view showing the linkages between the river, development, and the city, facilitated by the natural landscape and its orientation.

This is the second consecutive year CUDC students received an honorable mention—including a repeat performance from students Claire Markwardt, Neil Reindel, and Abraham Weiner.


Graphics/Portfolio Workshop | March 1, 2014


Please join AIA Cleveland in partnership with the CUDC on Saturday, March 1st for the first of four mentorship events in a year-long series. The event will take place from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.

This event features a workshop focused on honing rendering skills using modern techniques by leading expert, Alex Hogrefe, and will be followed by a portfolio round-robin with principals and partners from some of Cleveland’s most notable firms. We hope to spark a conversation regarding the evolution of how architects present their work and establish their professional identity.

The workshop is open to the public and non CUDC students, but registration is required as space is limited. Please complete registration form here.


9:30 am - Doors Open

10:00 am - Graphic Workshop Part 1

12:00 pm - Lunch

12:30 pm - 3:00 pm - Graphic Workshop Part 2

3:30 pm - 6:00 pm - Portfolio Reviews

Materials Required

All registrants must bring a laptop loaded with Adobe Photoshop and SketchUp. This workshop is a working session and registration is limited in order to provide a desk space for each attendee.

Registrants must bring a portfolio. Portfolios may be in any format (e.g. digital, physical) or progress (e.g. complete, draft, in progress). Students without completed portfolios are encouraged to bring a representative collection of their work. Please come prepared to share and discuss your work.

For more information about the Mentorship Series and the Graphic/Portfolio Workshop please visit the AIA event page.


Enterprise’s Young Professionals Luncheon Series | March 11, 2014


Enterprise’s Young Professionals Luncheon Series is an opportunity for young professionals in community development to interact with each other and with experts in the field over lunch.

The topic: Cleveland Climate Action Plan - Building Thriving and Healthy Neighborhoods, will be presented from 12:00 - 1:30 PM, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at Tower City Center.

The featured speaker will be Jenita McGowan, Chief of Sustainability, Office of Sustainability.

RSVP required by March 6, 2014.

RSVP contact and more information available here.


Position Available at City Parks Alliance

The City Parks Alliance in conjunction with the RAND Corporation is conducting a four-year study to determine the correlation between urban parks management and policies, and physical activity. They are currently seeking a part-time paid data collector in Cleveland, OH for the Spring of 2014.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain research experience with a national study. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 21, 2014.

More information and complete job description available here.


Chris Maurer | Lunch Lecture | February 14, 2014


Chris Maurer will be sharing some of his architectural work from all over sub-Saharan Africa, as well as student work from his design studios at Kent State University with social impact themes both here in Cleveland and in Kigali, Rwanda. Chris is working to develop a series of design studios that share lessons from developing world and the redeveloping world and create a cultural exchange between students at Kent State University and the University of Malawi Polytechnic.

Chris is an adjunct professor at Kent State University and an architect practicing in Cleveland at studioTECHNE. He was previously a Director at MASS Design Group and studioMDA. Chris is from North East Ohio, but has lived and worked in Kigali, Rwanda and Lilongwe, Malawi for a number of years.

Friday’s lunch lecture is free and open to the public.

Lunch Lecture
February 14, 2014
12-1 PM
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115


Registration for Wheelwright Prize due Feb. 15


The Harvard GSD is now accepting applications for the 2014 Wheelwirght Prize. The Wheelwright Prize is a $100,000 travel-based research grant that is awarded annually to early-career architects who have demonstrated exceptional design talent, produced work of scholarly and professional merit, and who show promise for continued creative work.

Throughout its history, Harvard GSD has had a strong global outlook, attracting deans, faculty, and students from all over the world. Moreover, a mainstay of the GSD curriculum is its traveling studio, which emphasizes the acceptance of ideas and practices with a diversity of origins. The Wheelwright Prize extends the school’s ethos, encouraging a broad-minded approach to architecture that seeks inspiration from unexpected quarters.

The Wheelwright Prize is intended to spur innovative research during the early stage of an architect’s professional career. Now open to applicants from all over the world—no affiliation to Harvard GSD required—the prize aims to foster new forms of research informed by cross-cultural engagement. “The idea is not just about travel—the act of going and seeing the world—but it is about binding the idea of geography to themes and issues that hold great potential relevance to contemporary practice,” says Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi.

The winner will be selected via an open call for proposals and a rigorous review process. The winner of the Wheelwright Prize will receive:

  • $100,000 cash prize to support travel and research-related costs
  • invitation to lecture at Harvard GSD
  • possibility to publish research in a Harvard GSD publication

Registration deadline: February 15, 2014

Submission deadline: March 4, 2014

For more details and application information please visit wheelwrightprize.org


Lunch Lecture | Friday, February 7, 2014


This Friday, February 7th, CUDC Urban Designer, Jeff Kruth will present his research surrounding vacant land and shrinking cities, entitled The Political Agency of Geography and the Shrinking City as part of the ongoing lunch lecture series.

In the talk, Jeff will explore alternative forms of organization and neighborhood development in shrinking cities where typical market-based solutions are inadequate for providing a social and economic vitality.

The lunch lecture series will take place from 12-1 PM and is free and open to the public.

Lunch Lecture
February 7, 2014
12-1 PM
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115


Design Diversity Launch & Event


The CUDC, along with a small group of Cleveland architects, urban designers, and graphic designers are pleased to launch Design Diversity. Design Diversity’s goal is to foster learning, influence growth, and promote African Americans in the Design Professions in Northeast Ohio.

As a kickoff for the initiative, Design Diversity will host a Powered by Pecha Kucha event. The Black History Month social event will feature short presentations from six local African American designers, spanning a range of disciplines. Following the presentations, attendees are invited to stay and connect with other local designers, while learning more about Design Diversity’s ongoing work.

The event is FREE and open to the public, including all ages and backgrounds. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required, on the Facebook event page or via email (info @ designdiversity.org).

Design Diversity  Kickoff Event
Thursday, February 27, 2014
7 - 9 PM
Take 5 Rhythm & Jazz
740 W Superior Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113

To learn more about the initiative, please visit www.designdiversity.org.

To receive news and more about Design Diversity subscribe to our mailing list.


Cleveland Leadership Center | Applications for 2014 Programs


Cleveland Leadership Center, or CLC, is a central community resource that provides education, connections, and civic engagement opportunities for leaders of all ages and experience levels.

Applications for Cleveland Bridge Builders, (i)Cleveland, Look Up To Cleveland Summer Leadership Academy and Leadership Cleveland are just around the corner. The Cleveland Leadership Center proudly offers a continuum of programs that challenge leaders at every level to improve our community with inspired thinking and action.  Know someone who is ready to inspire and be inspired?  Recommend them!  Programs are:

  • Cleveland Bridge Builders - They don’t ask for permission. They make it happen. They are passionate citizens and believe in civic action. Application goes live January 31st, more information HERE
  • Leadership Cleveland - Established. Connected. Visionary.  Combine skills and vision to make CLE better.  Application goes live February 1st, more information HERE
  • (i)Cleveland - College Interns. Talented. Exploring new opportunties. Discover leaders, spaces and the knowledge base that makes Cleveland a great place to start a career. Registration goes live February 1st, read more HERE
  • Summer Leadership Academy - High School Juniors/Seniors. Motivated. Questioning.  Active, hands-on exploration of Cleveland, leadership projects and leadership experiences. Registration goes live March 1st, read more HERE


Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities | Proposal Submission due 2/1


Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities is an Interdisciplinary Convening hosted by The Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and The Cleveland Restoration Society. It will take place at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University from Thursday, June 5 through Saturday, June 7, 2014. There will be a mix of speaker sessions, roundtable discussions and local tours.

The purpose is to discuss the role of historic preservation in revitalizing America’s legacy cities, where long‐term population loss and economic decline present significant challenges for the future of the urban built environment. These cities have significant cultural heritage and a large stock of historic buildings, yet vacancy and abandonment are very pressing realities and, at times, demolition may be the best course of action.

This convening will not only answer the difficult questions that legacy cities face, but will be an opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, and devise solutions.

Proposals are invited on any topic that addresses the role of historic preservation in America’s Legacy cities. Deadline for submission is February 1, 2014. For more information and potential topics please see the Call for Presentations.


James Thompson Lunch Lecture | Jan 31

Garfield Scholars group led by James Thompson (lower right) in front of a fountain at the Plaza de San Francisco in Old Havana, Cuba. Photo credit: Hiram College

Join us January 31st at the CUDC for a Friday Lunch Lecture by James Thompson entitled, Designing the Future: Politics, Architecture, and the Cuban Aesthetic Question.

James Thompson is Associate Professor in Political Science at Hiram College. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. Thompson specializes in International Relations and Political Theory.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs appreciated at: cudc@kent.edu

Friday, January 31st
12:15PM - 1:15PM
Kent State CUDC
1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
(Playhouse Square, Downtown Cleveland)


CEOs for Cities is Hiring!

There are two career opportunities available at CEOs for Cities and we would like to spread the word. CEOs for Cities  is the only national nonprofit organization with an ongoing national network of cross-sector, cross-generation urban leaders focused on making cities more connected, innovative, and talented and investing in your city’s distinctive assets.

Their name may suggest to some that they are only CEOs and/or only private sector. But neither is the case. They honor leadership where it happens, regardless of rank or sector. They are cross-sector, cross-generation CEOs, changemakers, and disrupters committed to city success. Essentially, they are Changemakers for Cities. Their membership network consists of individuals, businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, non-profits, foundations, learning institutions, mayors and other government leaders.

Positions available:

Creative Director

Chief Strategy Officer

Interested parties should  apply at www.ceosforcities.org/apply by February 14, 2014. Anticipated start date is early/mid March 2014.



CUDC Wins 2014 American Planning Association Award!


The CUDC is pleased to announce that our project, Pop Up City: Temporary Interventions for Community Engagement, has won the 2014 National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach.

Established by the CUDC in 2007, Pop Up City is a program that brings empty places to life through magical, ephemeral experiences that demonstrate how vacancy can be an opportunity and an adventure, not just a liability. These are temporary events and installations that occupy vacant buildings and activate vacant land in ways that shine a spotlight on some of Cleveland’s spectacular but underutilized properties.


Pop Up City offers a powerful way for people to envision future development alternatives and determine their preferences based on actual experiences. While traditional design professionals may find it easy to envision a transformed space on the basis of two-dimensional drawings, often the general public does not. Through high-impact, short-duration projects like Pop-Up Rockwell, non-design professionals get to “experience” the transformative potential of a space and come to understand and support a design that they might not otherwise have understood fully.

The CUDC is extremely proud of our achievement and is looking forward to more Pop Up City events in the future.






The College of Architecture and Environmental Design Announces Three New Masters Programs


Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design is excited to announce three new Masters Degree programs that will be starting in the Fall of 2014. The new additions include: The Masters of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design (MSAED, The Masters of Healthcare Design (MHCD), and The Masters of Landscape Architecture (MLA). The MLA program will take place here at the CUDC in Cleveland.

Details on the programs are as follows.

Read more…