06-25-18

CUDC Wins 2018 EDRA Great Places Award!

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On June 9th, the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) awarded the CUDC its 2018 Great Places Award for work on the Cleveland Public Library’s CPL150: Community Vision Plan.

From 2014 to 2017, CUDC staff, alongside the Cleveland Public Library, engaged 13 of the City’s 27 branch libraries. Named for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Cleveland Public Library, the CPL150 Community Vision Plan approached library design from the perspective that every neighborhood is fundamentally different, and will need custom-tailored strategies to meet their needs. CPL150 was the combined strategy for determining these neighborhood-specific needs, identifying opportunities, and building consensus among disparate user groups around what their local libraries can and should become.

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Taking cues from the field of Experience Design, the design team envisioned the branch experience in totality: building; grounds; neighborhood; and services. Each of these four experience levels have a significant impact on the overall experience patrons encounter when visiting their local branch. A wide range of engagement tools were developed in order to ensure all community members could find points of entry to suit their comfort level. For each branch the design team held public meetings, open houses, and advisory committee meetings, in addition to targeted focus groups with youth and seniors and a widely distributed multilingual survey. Final recommendations spanned design scales, including ideas for interior reconfiguration, architectural improvements, neighborhood connectivity, and system-wide services. In all, CPL150 engaged over 1500 residents and stakeholders across approximately half of Cleveland’s geography.

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The EDRA Great Places Award recognizes interdisciplinary projects that engage the relationship between people and their environment. Four projects are awarded each year; this year CPL150 was awarded in the Planning category. CUDC Associate Director, David Jurca, was on hand to accept the award in Oklahoma City. Thanks to EDRA for the recognition and to the Cleveland Public Library for partnering on the CPL150 plan!

For more information on the project, check out the video below, or visit the project website: www.cpl150.org

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01-18-18

Cleveland Housing Issues & Opportunities: A Panel Discussion | Jan 23

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The Cleveland Public Library will moderate a panel discussion on Cleveland Housing Issues & Opportunities on Tuesday, January 23rd at 5:00 PM. Community housing leaders from around Cleveland including the CUDCThriving Communities, CMHA, Third Federal and Slavic Village Development will discuss local successes in demolishing blighted properties and renovating, reusing, restoring, and rehabilitating older buildings to serve as houses for local residents. The conversation is part of the One Community Reads program focused in 2018 on the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

CUDC Urban Designer, Kristen Zeiber, will be there to discuss the design/REbuild house and New Life for Old Homes: Design Guide for the Low-Cost Rehab of Vacant & Abandoned Housing. New Life for Old Homes is a  guidebook of low-cost, high impact ideas for the rehabilitation of vacant and abandoned houses that would otherwise be demolished.

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Cleveland Housing Issues & Opportunities: A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
5:00 PM
Cleveland Public Library – Fleet Branch
7224 Broadway Ave, Cleveland, OH 44105

 

11-09-17

Steve Rugare Speaks at Cleveland Public Library

Designing the Great Lakes Exposition of 1936-37

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Join Kent State University Professor Steve Rugare as he shares details surrounding the design of the facility built for the 1936 and 1937 Great Lakes Exposition. This complex was constructed on the shores of Lake Erie to celebrate the centennial year of the incorporation of the city of Cleveland. The Exposition featured sideshows, gardens, rides, exhibits, and the debut of Billy Rose’s Aquacade, a music and swimming show that later went on to great success at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. This event is hosted by Cleveland Public Library and the Western Reserve Architectural Historians.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 • 1:30 p.m. • Special Collections
Main Library, 3rd Floor • 325 Superior Avenue

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Steve’s talk is part of the library’s four part series, From Bridges to Belief: Four Events to Focus on Cleveland History. All events are free and  open to the public.

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06-29-17

Post-Graduate Fellow wins Burning Man Grant

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Working study model for design approval.

The CUDC is happy to announce that our Post-Graduate Fellow Jonny Hanna has been awarded one of the highly prestigious Burning Man Global Arts Grants for his fellowship project “Forget Me Not.” The project is one of 20 such grants awarded to community-based art projects around the world. This year’s projects will take place in Tel Aviv, Bengaluru, Budapest, Kiev, and Cleveland to name a few!

The project was born out of the Cleveland Public Library’s 150th-anniversary planning process being undertaken by the CUDC. The project will culminate as an art installation and piece of permanent urban furniture in the plaza space of the Eastman Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. It will be comprised of a multi-rowed fabricated seating structure, and a framing apparatus for a 17’x14′ window which will look onto a newly programmed temporary performing arts and gallery space. The project will be complete by early August with an event to come. Please stay in touch via the blog or social media (@ksuCUDC) and we will post event details when finalized.

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Image above depicting initial collage submitted with letter of intent.

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Image submitted for the second round of jurying.

02-22-17

Your Local Library: Seeking Input!

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On Thursday, January 26th, CUDC staff kicked off the first round of public Open Houses for the third group of library branches in our CPL150 project. The CUDC has been working with the Cleveland Public Library since fall of 2014 on community engagement around its neighborhood branches.

The CPL system is comprised of 27 branches, and each has very different community needs; CPL recognizes that each branch should respond to those needs locally, rather than just system-wide. What improvements are needed? How should each branch respond to its local opportunities and characteristics? And how can each branch respond to changing technological needs to become a 21st-century resource for its community?

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The first Group 3 open house, at West Park Branch, broke participants into a series of workstations throughout the library itself. Balloons marked each station, asking questions around the branch’s building; grounds; neighborhood; and services. We gathered input on existing conditions, ideas for integrating new technology & educational tools, neighborhood assets, partnerships, and services. We also had participants fill out our online survey (which is open to any CPL user, no matter their local branch – please fill out if you’re interested!).

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Since then, we’ve also held open houses at Eastman Branch and Hough Branch, and still have two more: Union Branch (Feb 23rd, 4:30-7:00 PM) and Walz Branch (March 7th, 4:00-7:00 PM).

After this round of open houses, we’ll input our feedback and start generating initial design alternatives for each branch, which we’ll present to the communities in a second round of public sessions, in May of this year, in preparation for final recommendations & report, which will be released in June 2017.

Please check out the project website for updates. We hope to see you at your local branch!

09-29-15

The Public Library: Designing a Community Asset

Recently, HBM Architects received national attention for their leading-edge library projects. The CUDC’s new Post-Graduate Fellow, Sam Friesema, worked for the firm and had a hand in the recognized projects. This is his story about his involvement and how he plans to bring his expertise to our work with the Cleveland Public Library and their CPL150 Community Vision Plan.


Before joining the CUDC, I had the privilege of working for HBM Architects for 4 ½ years. HBM specializes in library planning and design and has worked with over 300 libraries throughout the country. Libraries are in an exciting period of exploration where traditional library services are transitioning as technologies rapidly alter information access in our society. Libraries are becoming community centers and neighborhood technology hubs. Instead of housing books they now house activities, workshops, cafés, performance spaces, interactive learning areas for all ages, and yes, still a few books.

Libraries are an integral part of any city. As a public amenity, libraries build upon input from the community to construct spaces which meet local needs. While we can only guess what the library of the future might look like, several new projects give a glimpse into cutting edge library design. Four HBM projects recently received national attention for their innovative architectural visions of the contemporary library. I was fortunate to work on all of these projects at varying capacities.

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Click on project name for more images and information:

  1. EAST ROSWELL BRANCH LIBRARY – ATLANTA-FULTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
  2. NORTHSIDE LIBRARY JEFFERSON – MADISON REGIONAL LIBRARY
  3. SOUTHEAST DAVIDSON LIBRARY & COMMUNITY CENTER – NASHVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY
  4. WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS BRANCH LIBRARY – CUYAHOGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

Projects range in size and scope, from adaptive reuse to new construction. While each project is very unique, themes start to emerge as to where library services are headed: Open floor plans, flexible meeting spaces, technology saturation, less book shelves, casual seating areas, maker spaces, interactive early childhood literacy areas, all act to inspire the next generation of public library users.

Looking ahead, I am excited by the CUDC’s involvement with Cleveland Public Library’s CPL150 Community Vision Plan and hope to continue contributing to the library world in my new role here at the CUDC.

-Sam Friesema, Graduate Fellow

08-04-15

CPL150: Community Vision Plan released and available for download

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The CUDC partnered with the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) to conduct a planning process with four branch communities, together envisioning the 21st century library. CPL faces a challenge familiar to many institutions serving communities in Cleveland: How can we best meet the needs of our patrons in a changing context of new technologies, aging facilities, and declining population? CPL’s response to this question must be crafted individually for each branch neighborhood, based on the unique demands and opportunities present in those communities. The CUDC’s local knowledge of Cleveland neighborhoods and expertise in public engagement, depopulation research, and physical urban planning provide the complementary skills to enable CPL to take the next step in crafting an equitable Community Vision Plan.

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The report articulates a wide-range of community priorities and reveals a clearer vision of the library’s role in each target area. Neighborhood asset maps, programming concepts, and visual renderings produced through this process enable CPL to now conduct a finer grain analysis of the operational costs, interior architectural feasibility, and financial investments required to commit limited resources appropriately. The CPL150: Community Vision Plan provides a road-map for actions worthy to celebrate in 2019 and beyond.

The CPL150 Community Vision Plan | Group 1 report includes recommendations for four initial branch communities:

  • Fleet Branch Slavic Village neighborhood
  • South Branch Clark-Fulton and Tremont neighborhoods
  • Sterling Branch Campus District and Central neighborhoods
  • Woodland Branch Central and Kinsman neighborhoods

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The branches in the Community Vision Plan have been selected by CPL and their order of participation in the process has been determined through conversations with local public officials. The planning process is expected to be refined and expanded beyond this first group to include additional CPL branch neighborhoods.

Final recommendations for the current target neighborhoods were developed by the CUDC in close partnership with CPL and Enlightenment Consulting Group (ECG), through a carefully designed engagement process for each of the targeted branch locations. ECG’s previous work gathered feedback from residents that promote community building and address community deficits. Building upon this initial engagement process, the CUDC advanced the community conversations into the realm of physical planning. Gathering abundant feedback, the CUDC led 6 focus group sessions, 8 public meetings, 12 advisory committee meetings, and collected over 280 surveys in English and Spanish. In order to stay connected with people unable to attend meetings in person, the design team shared frequent updates on the process through a project website at www.CPL150.org.

The CPL150: Community Vision Plan articulates a wide-range of community priorities and reveals a clearer vision of the library’s role in each target area. Neighborhood asset maps, programming concepts, and visual renderings produced through this process enable CPL to now conduct a finer grain analysis of the operational costs, interior architectural feasibility, and financial investments required to commit limited resources appropriately.

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