03-06-19

Making Our Own Space

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Now in its fifth year, Making Our Own Space (MOOS) is a CUDC program in which teenagers design and build public space improvements that make their neighborhoods more comfortable, functional, and appealing. MOOS began in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood with the support of the Saint Luke’s Foundation and has since expanded to other neighborhoods around the city.

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Last fall, the CUDC partnered with the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization to bring MOOS to the neighborhood for the first time. For one week, students worked in Dudley Triangle, a pocket park at the intersection of Dudley Avenue and 73rd Street. This location is particularly significant to us, since the conversion of this vacant lot into a public park was a recommendation included in the 2013 neighborhood plan that the CUDC prepared for the south end of Detroit Shoreway. It’s exciting to see our partners implement ideas for public spaces generated during a community planning process, and especially rewarding when we get to contribute to the activation of one of those spaces through MOOS.

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For this workshop, the youth focused their work on improving the pedestrian experience on the nearby Lorain Avenue commercial corridor. Working in groups, they developed two concepts—one for a long bench dubbed the Lorain Lounger and another for a larger sheltered seat with an iconic framework design surrounding it. Despite a week of almost constant rain, the crew rallied to quickly develop their ideas and realize final iterations of their designs. We were excited to incorporate some lighting features into the finished products, and share some of our work with the DSCDO community at their recent annual meeting.

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MOOS students also designed one of the winning entries in the Sit & See CLE competition, sponsored by Destination Cleveland and LAND studio. Sit & See CLE will create a collection of places where Clevelanders and visitors can sit (or stand) and take in views along Cleveland’s trail system and possibly get a new perspective. The MOOS team is building a three-dimensional viewing platforms along the recently opened section of the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway, between West 28th Street and West Boulevard. The students built a prototype on-site in February and will work with a professional fabricator to build a permanent structure on the site this spring. 

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Visit wearemoos.org or email CUDC urban designer Katie Slusher to learn more about the exciting things going on with MOOS.

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