10-17-17

Cleveland Public Library: Community Vision Plan Wrap-Up!

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We’re happy to announce the final publication of our CPL150 Community Vision Plan!

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For the past three years, CUDC staff have been working with the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) on their Community Vision Plan. One of CPL’s strategic priorities is to prepare the library system for its 150th anniversary, in 2019. CPL150, the name of the engagement process, involved 13 of the system’s 27 branch communities to ask what they need from their local library branch.

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? How can each branch custom-tailor its library experience to meet the specific needs of its community?

For each group of branches, the team engaged community members in a series of public meetings, surveys, open houses, advisory committee meetings, and targeted focus groups, for a three-year total of over 1,500 points of engagement. The team then produced a report for each group, summarizing the engagement feedback and the final recommendations. These recommendations included physical improvements, like interior reconfiguring or exterior seating areas, but also ideas for improving services, as well as larger neighborhood connections which can better integrate each branch into its surroundings. We summarized this overall branch experience into four distinct, nested levels: library building; library grounds; neighborhood; and library services.

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The final reports, from all three years, are on our CPL150.org site, available for perusal or download:

Group 1 (2015): Fleet, South, Sterling, and Woodland branches (Purchase report on Amazon)

Group 2 (2016): Brooklyn, Mt Pleasant, and South Brooklyn branches (Purchase report on Amazon)

Group 3 (2017): Eastman, Hough, Union, Walz, and West Park branches (Purchase report on Amazon)

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In addition, we’ve assembled a Summary Report which outlines some of the major themes we heard across most or all branches studied (Purchase Summary Report on Amazon). The design team found that far from becoming obsolete, our neighborhood libraries are more important than ever for the many ways they continue to serve their local population. Our library branches are information centers, community work spaces, workforce assistance centers, after-school gathering spots, and more.

Please visit cpl150.org for more information on our three-year collaboration with the Cleveland Public Library!

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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!

10-11-16

Making Our Own Stories Podcast Launched!

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Making Our Own Stories, a youth podcast about placemaking, launched its first four episodes. The podcast will reveal the stories behind the projects built in the Buckeye neighborhood through the Making Our Own Space workshops. The podcast puts the mic in the hands of youth, training them to craft and tell stories they find interesting—in their own voice.

MOOStories is led by a team of partners including Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), designer Ellen Sullivan, Kent State University Master of Landscape Architecture student Jessie Hawkins, community leader and independent radio broadcaster D’Angelo Knuckles, and Sidewalk founder and urban planner Justin Glanville.

Students learned how to use recording equipment so they could interview people on the street, design professionals, grant funders, police officers, and each other. The podcast gives youth the opportunity to ask adults why the neighborhood looks the way it does. Then take actions to make it better.

You can listen to the first four episodes on the MOOS website or on iTunes. We will be posting another episode each week for the next two months. If you enjoy the stories, please share the podcast link on social media and ask your friends to check it out, too. On iTunes, you can rate the podcast (5 stars please!) and leave a comment. The ratings and comments are really important ways to increase the podcast’s reach. We hope MOOStories will help people in Cleveland and across the country get a better understanding of the Buckeye community and how youth can play a larger role in shaping their own neighborhoods.

Want to listen live? There will be a live stream of the podcast at Sidewalks of Buckeye, Thursday, October 13th, from 6-8 PM. The event is sponsored by the Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation in partnership with ioby. It will be a night of readings, musical performances, poetry, meditation and more!  There will be  hot dogs and freshly pressed juice. The event will take place at Art and Soul Park, E 118th and Buckeye Rd. 

Making Our Own Stories is made possible through the generous support of the Cleveland Foundation’s Minority Arts & Education Fund.

08-11-16

INPLACE Projects Funding Now Available

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INPLACE is a new arts initiative for Youngstown, funded by the  National Endowment for the Arts. It’s directed toward community-driven public art projects that combine storytelling with placemaking.

INPLACE is looking for artists, designers, and other creative people to develop projects around the themes of  Wayfinding, Parking, Lighting, Technology, and Green Infrastructure for the City of Youngstown. Grants of $20,000 will be awarded for five projects to be implemented in the city between November, 2016 and the end of July, 2017.

Projects proposals need to have a clear Youngstown focus, but you don’t need to be based in Youngstown to participate. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the INPLACE website and download the guidelines.

On September 6 from 5-7pm, there will be a community open house for people interested in applying for an INPLACE grant. All proposals need to be a team effort, with at least three team members. The open house will provide an opportunity to meet potential team members and learn about the rich cultural environment of Youngstown.

To participate, you’ll need to pre-register by August 19, by completing the pre-registration form on the INPLACE website.

The CUDC and Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design have deep ties to Youngstown and we’re honored to be advisors to INPLACE. We hope many artists and designers from Cleveland and elsewhere in Northeast Ohio will participate in this initiative.

04-11-16

Mark Mattern Lecture | April 15

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There are only a few lectures left as part of our Spring Series, so this is one you’re not going to want to miss. We welcome Mark Mattern professor at Baldwin Wallace University. His talk, Public Art and the Control of Public Space, will question who controls public visual space? This question will be addressed with special attention to the role of community and public art.

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Mark Mattern is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Baldwin Wallace University, where he teaches political theory and political economy. He is the author most recently of Anarchism and Art: Democracy in the Cracks and on the Margins (SUNY Press, 2016), and Co-Editor, with Nancy S. Love, of Doing Democracy: Activist Art and Cultural Politics (SUNY Press, 2013).

The lecture will be held at the CUDC from 12-1 PM. As always, free and open to the public.

09-03-15

Bialosky Day at our Design RE/build House

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Every other weekend this summer, volunteers have been coming out of the woodwork* to help us finish constructing Kent State University’s first Design RE/build house in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland. Lots of progress has taken place at the house, not least because of the boundless, donut-fueled energy of our crews.

On August 22nd six employees from Bialosky + Partners Architects donated their time, energy, and expertise to the project. Alongside our other enthusiastic volunteers, the construction crew graded landscape, placed insulation, installed cabinets & countertops, replaced floorboards, welded guardrails, and many other important jobs around the project. The project is finally nearing the extra-fun finishing details, when we’re really getting to apply our creativity.

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For those of you thinking how much fun this all looks, you’re in luck! We’ve extended the schedule through September and October. Our 5 remaining dates are:

  • September 5
  • September 19
  • October 3
  • October 17
  • October 31 : Halloween House Party!

These dates are tentative and may change, based on our progress, so check our Facebook page regularly for updates and email Kristen Zeiber at kzeiber [at] kent.edu to get on the mailing list.

Also, if your firm is interested in “sponsoring” a day at the Design RE/build house, let us know. This is a great opportunity for your architects & interns to get out of the office for a day and get some hands-on experience in the field (plus PR for your firm). AIA Associates, you’re eligible to use the volunteer hours towards your IDP Leadership and Service hours too! Just email Kristen with any questions and we’ll set you up.

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Thanks to all our dedicated students, volunteers, and community members who are supporting this project! The end is in sight, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the finishing touches emerge.

* – please forgive the construction pun.

This project is generously funded by The George Gund Foundation, Sandvick Architects, Sears-Swetland Family Foundation, and the Helen Brown Fund. Additional support from 84 Lumber, RoosWork, VIP Restoration, and St. Clair Superior Development Corporation

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To view more photos of our Design RE/build house click here.

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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06-30-15

2015 AIA Cleveland Sand Castle Competition and Volleyball Tournament | July 18th

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AIA Cleveland is bringing back their annual summer festival that will bring architecture and design firm personnel and their families together with the public to celebrate design and enjoy the beach! The AIA Cleveland Sand Castle Competition and Beach Volleyball Tournament will take place at Edgewater Beach on Saturday, July 18th and feature a competition of more than two dozen sand castle and volleyball teams populated by Cleveland architecture, engineering, and construction firms.

When: Saturday, July 18th

Where: Edgewater Beach

Schedule:
10 AM – Castle Competition / Volleyball Tournament Begins
5 PM – Parade of Castles, Jury
6 PM – Championship Volleyball Match & Awards Presentation

Registration closes Friday, July 3rd. Register HERE to build collegiality within the architectural community and raise design awareness across Cleveland.

03-05-15

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: 2015 Midwest Urban Design Charrette

The CUDC is seeking a community partner from an Ohio city, suburb, town, or neighborhood facing a unique urban design or planning challenge and in need of fresh ideas and perspectives to host our 2015 Urban Design Charrette.

The CUDC and our two partner urban design schools – Lawrence Technological University’s College of Architecture and Design in Detroit, MI; and Ball State University’s Urban Design Center in Indianapolis, IN – will bring graduate students in urban design & architecture to the selected partner community for a 3-4 day intensive workshop charrette. The Midwest Urban Design Charrette, as our three schools call the partnership, has been conducted for four consecutive years, traveling to Detroit, MI in 2014, Indianapolis, IN in 2012 and 2013, and Cleveland, OH in 2011. You can view reports that have been generated from these past charrettes here.

indycharetteStudents working at the fall 2013 charrette in Indianapolis, IN. 

The ideal community partner will be a municipality or other vested stakeholder with the ability to engage local community stakeholders and potentially realize some of the final design recommendations. The partner will also be responsible for basic food and lodging for approximately 30 students and staff over the 3-4 day Charrette period. The CUDC, LTU, & BSU team will bring staff, supplies, and expertise.

PIB_group photo all2012 charrette participants in Put-in-Bay, OH. 

The Midwest Urban Design Charrette is a unique and rewarding experience for students, who get an opportunity to face real-life design challenges and propose solutions, and for cities, who receive a wide range of design and planning ideas in a short and intense period of time. We welcome the chance to bring our partner schools to Northeastern Ohio in the fall of 2015 and hope to hear from cities, towns, suburbs, and neighborhoods equally excited about this opportunity.

Proposals due by April 15, 2015.

For more information, submissions guidelines, and deliverables please click here.

eco_public meeting 1_tablePublic meeting with community members during 2011 EcoVillage charrette. 

03-03-15

Rooms to Let: CLE | Call for Artist

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Built upon the overwhelming success of the inaugural Rooms to Let: Cleveland last year, the innovative event will return to the Slavic Village neighborhood on Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th, 2015. Artists will create a temporary art exhibition using vacant homes as their medium. The event, free and open to the public, will also include a neighborhood block party with live music, hands-on art activities and local food purveyors.

Led by Slavic Village Development, Rooms to Let: Cleveland seeks to continue the conversation around vacancy and the plight of Cleveland’s historic neighborhoods in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. This year’s event will expand this dialogue to a new group of visual and performance artists to further interpret the evolution of community and recovery.

Interested artists should apply here. The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2015.

Rooms To Let: Cleveland is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Slavic Village Development is an entrepreneurial non-profit neighborhood redevelopment organization serving the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland with over 30 years of experience in community development.

11-10-14

Alumni Lecture Series | Matt Schmidt

You’re running out of time to check out our Alumni Lecture Series. This Friday you are going to want to come and hear Matt Schmidt’s talk, Defining Community.  He will discuss how community and placemaking play a role in what we design, and how his own viewpoint of community has both evolved with, and been defined by, his work in architecture and planning since leaving Kent State and the CUDC. How we design with and for a community will be discussed, and the need for architects and planners to think differently about the environments we create as the communities we work in continue to change.

PowerPoint PresentationMatt is now a city planner and urban designer at The Trust for Public Land, Matt has worked on designing and developing parks and trails since he joined the organization in 2013. He is currently working on incorporating park amenities into green infrastructure projects in Cleveland and Milwaukee, as well as participating in the design and development of the Lake Link Trail in Cleveland’s Flats and a community-lead neighborhood green space initiative. Matt’s previous 13 years of experience at a Cleveland-based architecture and planning firm included the management and development of city master plans, multi-modal transportation studies, strategic neighborhood redevelopments and streetscape designs in communities throughout the region. Matt studied architecture at Kent State University, and completed his graduate degree at the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. Matt serves on the Executive Committee of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Planning Association, and was recently honored to be included in the 2014 Crain’s Cleveland Business 40 Under 40.

PowerPoint PresentationAs always our lectures are free and open to the public. 12-1pm at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.

09-08-14

Alumni Lecture Series | Divya Sridhar | Sept. 12

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What would your neighborhood look like if your neighbors and you designed it together? What could the community look like if  it was built from a place of trust and respect towards each other, and nurtured local ecology? This Friday, September 12, Divya Sridhar will share how City Repair attempts to explore the power of people through collaborative place making in urban spaces, and reconnects them to each other and to the local environment.

Divya Sridhar is  a graduate of the M.Arch program from the class of 2006, and a LEED AP. She’s a Permaculture Certified Designer and a mom. She facilitates design approach and outcomes in neighborhoods for a process called City Repair. 

The Alumni Lecture Series is held from 12-1 pm at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200. They are free and open to the public. View the full schedule of upcoming speakers here.

04-22-14

Erick Rodriguez | Lunch Lecture | April 25, 2014

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This Friday’s lunch lecture will welcome Erick Rodriguez. He will discuss his involvement with CITY ART PLAY, a youth learning program in Los Angeles, where they created an approach to community engagement that brought art and design to everyday neighborhood spaces. Their goal was to get youth and their families thinking about learning beyond the classroom and within the community. Through a series of neighborhood art workshops, they helped youth express and share their creative potential.

Erick is also an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow. The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. will co-host Erick, as part of his fellowship, to further the development of the Eco-District framework and enhance coordination and collaboration across Cleveland neighborhoods with a broad group of community stakeholders. The City of Cleveland, BBC, and DSCDO are contributing to an international dialogue about the development and implementation of Eco-Districts, and Erick’s goal is to help craft a comprehensive set of strategies that will serve as a useful tool, for both city leaders and community members, to recognize ways their neighborhoods can come together to appropriate sustainability as an essential part of their community. 

This event is free and open to the public.

12-1 PM
CUDC
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44102