This summer, July 25-26, Kent State University faculty and staff will embark on the first ever Crooked River Commute. This kayaking trek along the Cuyahoga River from Kent State University’s main campus to Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative is intended to promote the river as a shared regional asset for education, recreation, and sustainability.
Cheer us on.
Meet us at the start and finish of the trip. We’ll begin early morning (7-7:30am) on Friday, July 25th at Heritage Park in Kent and end with a celebration late evening (6-6:45pm) on Saturday, July 26th at the Coast Guard Station during The Burning River Festival in Cleveland.
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Tell your friends, family and social network about the Crooked River Commute. We’ll live-tweet during the trip, using hashtag: #RiverCommute
Read the two-page summary below to learn more about the backstory and goals of the trip:
Lisa Lee Benjamin is a catalyst for the planet profoundly dedicated to altering the way we live. With a botanical background, her work focuses on international collaboration to open possibilities and challenge our ideas of sustainability and community. She has led and consulted on projects from California to Kenya.
Her new book, The Professional Guide to Green Roofs, is a collaborative venture with designers to aid practitioners in green roof design. Come hear her speak about vegetative roofs in our changing world.
12 – 1pm
Friday, April 19th, 2013
CUDC 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Free and open to the public
Lisa will also speak on the Kent State main campus the same day at 3:40pm in Rm 202 Taylor Hall.
Thanks to all those that participated in this year’s community design charrette, which took place in Cleveland’s EcoVillage neighborhood this past week (Oct 22-26, 2011). The CUDC staff and students worked closely with neighborhood residents and stakeholders, including Councilman Matt Zone and staff from Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, to assess community priorities, then develop design proposals that range from long-term visions to immediately implementable actions (see the presentation from the second Public Meeting below).
We were also fortunate to have eight students from Ball State University’s Master of Urban Design program work along side us for the busy weekend, led by their instructor Bruce Race. The Ball State students brought diverse backgrounds in landscape architecture, planning, as well as architecture, to the charrette, which served the collaborative process very well. Our Kent State students enjoyed the interaction with fellow urban design majors, so we hope to return the favor with a visit to Indianapolis sometime in the near future. The interdisciplinary approach to a community charrette is an area of interest we’re keen on exploring further.
Incorporating feedback from the second public meeting, the CUDC will create a charrette report, documenting the design process and clearly communicating the proposals developed over the intense three day work session. We’ll make the final report available to the public and neighborhood residents once it’s complete. Based on what we heard from community members and local leaders, there’s a strong sense of optimism around the feasibility of the recommendations and an excitement to get started. Check out a recap of the charrette from the perspective of an EcoVillage resident on The Thrifty Bon Vivant blog.
Members of the public are invited to attend a design charrette, a.k.a. community workshop, to envision the Cleveland EcoVillage‘s future development and urban design plans. Several projects have been recently completed or are currently underway in this vibrant community, so the charrette comes at a good time to envision linkages between these investments and plan for new opportunities.
The charrette will take place over the course of several days, beginning with a public meeting on Saturday, October 22nd at 10am and culminating in a public presentation on Wednesday night, October 26th at 7pm. The design charrette will be conducted by the CUDC staff and KSU graduate students, in partnership with Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization and Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone.
Public Meeting 1
Saturday, October 22
10am – noon
Metro Catholic School
1910 W. 54th St.
Public Meeting 2
Wednesday, October 26
7pm – 8:30pm
Metro Catholic School
1910 W. 54th St.
The Cleveland EcoVillage is located in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood and is defined by W. 52nd St. on the east, W. 65th St. on the west, I-90 on the south and Franklin Blvd. on the north. The boundaries of the EcoVillage are based on a 15 minute walking radius around the W. 65th St. RTA rapid station.
Please consider attending both public meetings to provide your input and review the proposals that will be developed quickly between Saturday and Wednesday by the design team. The community charrette is an important opportunity for design professional, students and local residents to create a shared neighborhood vision for the future.
For more information, please contact the CUDC at 216.357.3434 or email@example.com
Rumi Shammin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, will discuss The Oberlin Project, a planned green redesign of the Oberlin community at the CUDC on Friday, October 7th from 12pm – 1pm. The Oberlin Project is a collaborative effort between the college and the City of Oberlin to create “full-spectrum sustainability” in which the parts are integrated to reinforce the resilience and durability of the whole community.
Rumi Shammin Lecture
Friday, October 7, 2011
12pm – 1pm
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200 (map)
Cleveland (Playhouse Square)
Free and open to the public
The vision of the project joins the many strands of sustainability – urban revitalization, green development, advanced energy technology, sustainable agriculture, green jobs, and education – into an integrated response to the burgeoning crisis of climate destabilization, environmental deterioration, and economic turmoil.
At the heart of the Oberlin Project is the revitalization of a 13-acre block near the city center that will include the development or renovation of a dozen buildings during the next five to seven years. The investment in construction, renovation, and energy technology is intended to stimulate the expansion of existing businesses and create new enterprises.
The Oberlin Project will also join the Climate Positive Development Program, a joint initiative of the Clinton Climate Initiative, a program of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and the U.S. Green Building Council. Launched in May 2009 by President Clinton, the Climate Positive Development Program supports the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate that cities can grow in ways that are climate positive—able to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.
If you missed the BioCellar event at the CUDC on April 26th, now you can watch the presentations online:
BioCellar Presentations – 1 of 3 – Intro
BioCellar Presentations – 2 of 3 – Darrell Frey | Bioshelter Market Garden @ Three Sisters Farm
BioCellar Presentations – 3 of 3 – Gauri Torgalkar | BioCellar: Concept to Prototype
Thursday, February 17, 2011
4:00 – 6:30 pm
1717 Euclid Avenue
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Cleveland State University
The Levin College Forum, NPI and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative have organized a public forum on the Reimagining Cleveland project to answer the question, “What’s going on here?” The program offers an opportunity to learn from individuals who have actually created gardens, orchards, vineyards and farms from vacant land. The speakers include the CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, who will present a look to the future of Reimagining Cleveland. Immediately following the forum, attendees are invited to celebrate the opening of an exhibit in the forum gallery showcasing the work of photographers and storytellers illuminating the narratives of the reimagining grantees.
For more information, including the event’s full agenda, please visit: http://urban.csuohio.edu/forum/events/02_17_11_Reimagining_Cleveland.html
The event is free and open to the public, but please register online or call 216.523.7330.
William McDonough, founding principal of William McDonough + Partners and author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, will be speaking on Tuesday, October 12 beginning at 7:30pm in Cartwright Auditorium on the Kent State University main campus. A link to the event venue map is located below. Admission is free.
Beyond the Motor City, a new documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker Aaron Woolf (King Corn), will be showing for free at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on June 9th at 5:30pm. The film will be screened in select cities across America’s industrial heartland as a part of The Blueprint America Screening Tour. According to the press release,
Beyond the Motor City…examines how Detroit, a grim symbol of America’s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America.
Narrated by Miles O’Brien, the film explores Detroit’s historic investments in infrastructure – from early 19th-century canals to the urban freeways that gave The Motor City its name and made America’s transportation system the envy of the world.
But over the last 30 years, much of the world has left Detroit – and America – behind, choosing faster, cleaner, more modern transportation. In a journey that takes us into the neighborhoods of Detroit and then beyond to Spain, California, and our nation’s capital, Beyond the Motor City urges us to ask how we might finally push America’s transportation system into the 21st century.
What: Beyond the Motor City film screening
Where: CMNH /1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle, Cleveland, OH 44106
When: Wednesday, June 9th, 5:30pm
Space is limited for the screening. To attend, please RSVP to: bchase(AT)cmnh.org
Full press release (download pdf)
The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship is now accepting candidate applications for the next round of three year fellowships. The four fellowships available are in St. George, Seattle, Cleveland and Puerto Rico. This great opportunity is available to all architects, interns or students who will be graduated by May 2010.
Intern architects with an M. Arch and a few years of work experience are the best suited for this position, though the minimum qualification is a professional degree in architecture. It is an excellent opportunity to become immersed in community design at all levels, and is a paid commitment of three years, including training seminars, conferences and a unique network of fellows.
The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM EST, Thursday, April 15th, 2010.
More information at: www.rosefellowship.org
by david jurca
Early in the morning on Saturday, October 3rd, Edgewater Beach became the venue for a boat race meant to bring awareness to the exorbitant amount of plastic that makes its way to the world’s lakes and oceans. Led by Cathi Lehn of the Biodiversity Alliance and Dr. Marcus Eriksen of the California-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation, teams from throughout Cuyahoga County arrived with their self-made boats. The eleven small boats, constructed entirely from plastic bottles and otherwise discarded objects, were carefully carried down by the teams to the water’s edge of Lake Erie. The large crowd watched nervously as the teams pushed their crafts onto the water and the selected team members got on board. Would their boats even float?
This question was certainly on the mind of the LoveCraft’s team, comprised of members from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, the Green City Blue Lake Institute and Environmental Health Watch. In a boat building workshop the week before, Dr. Eriksen had given the rule of thumb, “One two-liter bottle will support one kilogram.” But did he then say to use enough bottles for double the weight or was that just because of the metric system? Well, the team would find out when they hit the water.
As the brave skippers, Marc Lefkowitz and Mandy Metcalf, boarded the LoveCraft, the team was surprised by how little their recycled matress framed rig sunk in the water. The additional pontoons made from discarded wildberry sno cone syrup bottles must have done the trick! Now the LoveCrafters would have to face the 300 feet of Lake Erie out to the marker canoe, make the turn around it, and paddle back to shore against the prevailing wind. They would also have to watch out for the favored boat that day; a sleak two pontoon vessel covered in saran wrap designed by Medina high school students.
The LoveCraft held her own as the skippers paddled furiously to the shoreline, but was just edged out of third place by another Medina craft skippered by two students wearing batman and robin costumes. Maybe the extra pontoons could have been placed closer to the edge in order to make a more hydrodynamic design? Maybe they weren’t needed at all? When trying to determine the right balance of plastic needed, it might be better to favor on the side of simply using less.
For more info on what can be done to combat the plastic plague and for more photos of the regatta, visit the GreenCityBlueLake Institute blog. For behind the scenes shots of the crafting of the LoveCraft, visit our CUDC Flickr stream.
by david jurca
Those willing to brave the 65 degree sunny weather and almost non-existent car traffic in Cleveland were rewarded with discounts at Gypsy Beans coffee shop, free breakfast at the YMCA, new friendships and various health related benefits on National Bike to Work Day.
A contingency from the near-west side of Cleveland took a pleasant ride down Detroit Ave., starting at W. 65th St., and made their way to the Downtown YMCA.
Along the way, the group stopped at the Gateway parking garage on the corner of Huron and E. 4th St. for a glimpse of future plans for the proposed bike station to be built inside the garage.
A health-conscious bounty awaited weary two-wheel travelers at the Downtown YMCA. Yes, it was fun to stay there.
Could biking to work become such a common occurance in Cleveland that “Bike to Work Day” would sound as gratuitous as “Complain About Cleveland Sports Day”? Well, if the Cavs don’t blow it, there might be a chance.
by david jurca
Terry was awarded the artist prize in design for her work surrounding the Shrinking Cities Institute at the CUDC, which addresses local population decline. The multifaceted work of the Shrinking Cities Institute includes the Cleveland Land Lab, the Pop Up City! temporary use intiative and two editions of the Urban-Infill Journal.
The awards ceremony will be held Thursday, June 25th at the Hanna Theatre in Playhouse Square. Tickets are available by calling 216 321-0012 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by david jurca
CircletheUSA.com, a website maintained by the Planning Commissioners Journal, is currently undertaking a cross-country road trip documenting notable city planning projects along the way. The recently concluded first leg of the trip stretched from Vermont to Cleveland and the second leg will continue on to Chicago.
While in Cleveland, the blog’s author met with Terry Schwarz, Senior Planner from the CUDC, Bob Brown, Planning Director for the City of Cleveland and Bobbi Reichtell, Senior Vice President for Programs at Neighborhood Progress Inc., to discuss the Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland report. The visit and subsequent thoughts on Cleveland’s progressive strategy for addressing vacancy are presented in the Audacious…or Realistic? post.
Cleveland is a lot like slime mold. At least that’s how Holly Harlan, founder of the local non-profit Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S), compliments our city*. And what a compliment!
Slime mold cells have the ability to move around as they please and follow one another’s chemical traces, much like ants. When presented with conditions unfavorable for growth or survival, slime mold cells swarm together and fuse into a single enormous cell containing thousands of nuclei.
If this slime mold “blob”—called the plasmodium—begins to dry out too quickly or is starved, it creates body armor for itself by transforming into a hard, dry mass called a sclerotium. The armored mass protects the dormant cells inside until better conditions for growth return.
What Harlan meant by relating Cleveland to slime mold is that when faced with adversity, Clevelanders join together for stronger survival tactics (I can’t help but think of Russell Crowe telling the other gladiators to fight as one here).