06-01-17

CUDC Wins 2017 EDRA Great Places Award for Making Our Own Space (MOOS)

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Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative is honored to receive the 2017 Great Places Award in the Planning category from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).

The EDRA Great Places Awards recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form of the built environment and human activity or experience. The Great Places Planning Award specifically recognizes the CUDC’s Making Our Own Space (MOOS) initiative, a youth program focused on engaging and empowering middle and high school students with the skills to transform their neighborhood public spaces.

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MOOS is led by CUDC staff in close partnership with a team of local and nationally-renowned designers. Focused on outdoor spaces owned by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and the City of Shaker Heights, Ohio, this initiative uses hands-on, on-site workshops to build physical and social infrastructure in collaboration with the surrounding community. Outdoor workshops organized by students addressed issues related to shared spaces, inclusive decision-making and helping to bring diversity to the design fields by involving youth from underrepresented groups. In response to the project, the City of Shaker Heights created a committee of staff, residents and councilpersons to increase leadership opportunities for middle and high school youth. The Shaker School District is exploring how to incorporate the MOOS placemaking workshop into its curriculum. The EDRA Award jury stated, “This is a great example of planning that involves youth in place making and community building.”

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Started in 2015 by Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), the program supports the CUDC’s Design Diversity initiative by raising awareness in African American and Latino communities about the range of design careers available to youth. MOOS workshops expose students to design thinking and making, employing interdisciplinary approaches from architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, planning, and graphic design.

Making Our Own Space is made possible through the generous support of the Saint Luke’s Foundation, The City of Shaker Heights, and the Cleveland Foundation’s Minority Arts & Education Fund.

Follow us at: wearemoos.org
Instagram: @wearemoos
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