12-13-13

Neither a Duck, Nor an Island

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Last weekend the CUDC was all-hands-on-deck for a three-day neighborhood planning charrette in the micro-neighborhood of Duck Island, a small neighborhood nestled between Ohio City and Tremont. The near-west side of Cleveland has recently attracted a lot of development interest, and subsequently there has been lots of speculation around Duck Island, which we see as a potentially transit-oriented and walkable neighborhood whose under-the-radar identity is a refreshingly appealing asset. This autumn Tremont West Development Corporation, in conjunction with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, issued a planning RFP to pull speculative development into a cohesive plan for the neighborhood that takes into account existing residents’ needs and concerns.

The CUDC facilitated a kickoff community meeting and work session last Thursday, using a series of brainstorming and engagement tools to draw out issues and opportunities from Duck Island residents and stakeholders. Residents engaged in break-out groups around four distinct areas of design potential: open space; neighborhood infill; streetscapes; and neighborhood identity.

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Ultimately, our team pulled together a working plan based on two primary organizational structures: the main corridor of Abbey Ave, which we envisioned as a small-scale mixed-use street at the heart of the neighborhood; and a series of open space and landscape strategies linked in a ring around the neighborhood, along its existing sloping topography. Additional recommendations around housing infill, connectivity, and safety and maintenance were also included for review by participants.

Currently we’re pulling the recommendations into a draft, which Tremont West will then distribute before Christmas in order to give residents and stakeholders some time to review and evaluate the work. A final community meeting will be scheduled for mid-to-late January, to provide final feedback.

If you’re a resident or stakeholder of Duck Island and you didn’t get a chance to participate in the charrette process last week, feel free to contact Kristen Zeiber (kzeiber @ kent.edu) and we’ll make sure your voice is heard!

-Kristen Zeiber, Project Manager

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