03-04-14

Spring Studio Focuses on Reclaiming Abandoned Housing

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The CUDC and CAED have developed an undergraduate-level Design-Build Studio for reclaiming abandoned housing in Cleveland. The Design-Build Studio will complement the CUDC’s work on the Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland initiative, a project that has become a national model for strategic reuse and reclamation of vacant urban land. This project will build on on-going efforts to reclaim vacant land in the city and explore new approaches for reinventing vacant housing.

Chris Maurer, an adjunct faculty member of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), teaches the studio with students in the third year Architecture Program, as well as students from the Construction Management Program from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology (CAEST). Chris is an architect and urban designer who brings strong design skills, extensive field experience, and a demonstrated ability to move innovative design ideas into implementation. Also assisting with the studio is CUDC urban designer, Kristen Zeiber. Kristen spent four years in the Gulf Coast Design Studio where she designed and built homes for hurricane victims and she is well suited to coordinate a design-build studio here in Cleveland. Terry Schwarz, CUDC Director, will oversee connections with the city and community development corporations, and will develop plans for neighborhood improvements for area surrounding the design-build site.

During the spring semester the students will develop a wide range of inexpensive design interventions to make an abandoned house more functional and appealing for prospective residents, which include the millennial generation and recent immigrants. The best idea(s) will proceed into design development, working drawings, and permitting. Summer will be the “build” semester, where CAED Faculty and a professional construction manager will oversee the students’ work. The finished house will be sold and the proceeds will be used as start-up funding to repeat the process in the following year.

The new Design-Build Studio is an exciting collaboration between the CUDC, CAED, and CAEST. In our first year we hope to document the process and bring will provide updates throughout the spring and summer. Stay tuned…

Major support for the Design-Build Studio is provided by: The George Gund Foundation, Sandvick Architects, Sears-Swetland Foundations, and Ruth Brown Foundation.

10-18-13

Fall Workshops | Two Opportunities to Learn about the Challenges of Vacant Properties

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First, CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, will be presenting two topics at the Ohio Land Bank Conference – Thriving Communities Institute in Columbus on October 23rd.

Redefining Redevelopment

Wednesday, October, 23,  8:25 AM – 9:25 AM

As resources are strained and increasingly more difficult to access, it is critical that we think strategically about how we use funding and tools effectively for the greatest long-term impact. In this joint plenary session, panelists will consider how decisions such as acquiring properties, using demolition dollars, and prioritizing investment impact the larger regional fabric, and will explore the critical role of a master plan in guiding such decisions.

Clustering Vacant Properties for Greater Community Impact

Wednesday, October 23, 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM

Greening and stabilization strategies for individual vacant lots can enhance the curb appeal of a neighborhood and ease the concerns of adjacent property owners. But to have city-wide impact, you’ll need to look at larger agglomerations of vacant sites. This session will focus on planning and design approaches for creating networks of vacant sites that enhance surrounding property values, offer recreational opportunities, provide ecological benefits, and preserve opportunities for future development. The session will also include an approach to classifying different kinds of vacancy and tailoring a response based on prevailing conditions.

For registration information please visit the Thriving Communities Institute website.

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Second, Terry Schwarz, along with Alan Mallach, FAICP, and Joseph Schilling will be leading a workshop as part of the APA’s Planners Training Service Workshop Series,  November 8-9 in Chicago.

Tackling the Challenges of Vacant Properties

Vacant properties are everybody’s problem. They blight neighborhoods, reduce property values, foster crime and disease, and never seem to go away.

Coming to closure on vacancies is a challenge for planners in older cities, inner-ring suburbs, even small towns and rural areas. How can you meet the challenge of vacancies in your community? Come to this invigorating new workshop and see how cities and towns across the country are handling the problem. You’ll pick up fresh ideas plus the tools you need to turn vacant properties into community asset.

For more information and to register please visit the APA’s website.

05-06-11

BioCellar Event Videos

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


04-07-11

BioCellar Event 4/26 @ CUDC

Click here to download BioCellar invite pdf


06-15-09

The Bridge Project Charrette

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For more info on the Bridge Project event, please visit:  www.clevelandbridgeproject.com

Every year, graduate students at the CUDC take part in a community design charrette, which addresses the urban design needs of a particular site or neighborhood in Northeast Ohio. This year’s charrette will be part of the Bridge Project scheduled for September 25th and 26th.

During a typical charrette, students are asked to gather relevant data about the focus area in preparation for a community meeting where stakeholders and residents share their thoughts and desires for the neighborhood. The students then work along side CUDC staff to quickly develop design solutions and assemble presentations for the community. In years past, the student charrettes have focused on downtown Lakewood, the Jewish Community Federation site, the Howard Street corridor in Akron and Youngstown’s Oak Hill neighborhood.

Read more…

06-14-09

Public Workshops for Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland

Do you have vacant lots on your street that you and your neighbors would like to improve?

Need some ideas about what to do with them?

Need a grant to pay for supplies?

You know firsthand the negative effects of unkempt vacant lots in your neighborhoods. Cleveland currently has 3,300 acres of vacant land and our inventory is growing with every new demolition. Now we will have resources to address them.

Please join us to learn more about the “Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland” grant program.  We will be holding public workshops in locations of our vacant land reutilization projects for you to learn about the resources available to revitalize city land bank lots in special target areas.

These sessions will provide information on:

•    Overview of the Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland plan
•    Ideas on what you can do with vacant lots
•    How to use the Re-Imagining Cleveland Vacant Land Re-Use Pattern Book and Ohio Green Print website
•    Application for Re-Imagining Cleveland grants

Read more…

05-21-09

Map of Cleveland’s Green Systems

This is a map of Cleveland showing vacant sites (in red), existing parks (in dark green), and proposed parkland and greenspaces (in light green).  The map was drawn by the Urban Design Center for Cleveland LandLab.

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posted by marianne eppig.

05-20-09

Pop Up City Book Trailer

It might not have the quick edits and intense action sequences of typical movie trailers, but we think our star moved pretty fast, for a panda.

Urban-Infill Volume 2: Pop Up City can be ordered from Amazon or from the Shrinking Cities Institute website.

Support for the Pop Up City initiative is provided by the Civic Innovation Lab and the Sears-Swetland Foundation. The publication of the Pop Up City book was made possible by funding from the George Gund Foundation and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

by david jurca

05-08-09

CircletheUSA.com visits Cleveland

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. reimagining-cover

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. 

Read more…

04-24-09

Artists vs. Blight

037-bridgemix-10-10-08Art installation at Bridge Mix, photo by Stephen Piscura

The CUDC’s Pop Up City initiative, Arts Collinwood and other Cleveland arts organizations were highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article about artist communities developing in blighted neighborhoods.  Although there’s nothing new about artists moving into low-rent areas, the recent foreclosure crisis is motivating communities to increase incentives for artists: 

Drawn by available spaces and cheap rents, artists are filling in some of the neighborhoods being emptied by foreclosures. City officials and community groups seeking ways to stop the rash of vacancies are offering them incentives to move in, from low rents and mortgages to creative control over renovation projects.

Some of the local organizations mentioned in the article include:

Arts Collinwood :: Collinwood

78th St. Studios :: Detroit Shoreway

ArtMart 09 :: Ohio City

DanceWorks @ CPT :: Detroit Shoreway

Pop Up City

Building Bridges

ArtSpace Cleveland

Also check out this set of Collinwood photos from the Plain Dealer.

by david jurca

04-23-09

Shrinking Flint

hacked-houseCleveland hacked-house rendering by Gauri Torgalkar, CUDC

The New York Times recently posted an article on how Flint, Michigan is planning to deal with its city’s depopulation and vacancy by demolishing entire neighborhoods. The idea is that speeding up the process of decline in certain sections of the city will consolidate any housing demand that remains into a few viable areas.

Housing demolition as a reaction to vacancy is occurring in Cleveland as well.  The City is currently planning to remove 2,000 homes this year. Not only will most of the embodied energy of these structures be lost in a landfill, but the fabric of the neighborhoods will also be forever changed.  Can the abandoned structures still be used as urban greenhouses or biocellars? What sort of neighborhoods are we creating if we add 2,000 new voids a year?  Could these new acres of land be put to productive use? 

by david jurca

04-18-09

Green City Blue Lake on Pop Up City

Last week Marc Lefkowitz, blog author extraordinaire for Green City Blue Lake, published a great post about Pop Up City and the Urban Design Center’s efforts to ignite (not literally) vacant spaces in Cleveland.

To read the post, visit http://www.gcbl.org/blog/marc-lefkowitz/counterculture-ignites-fallow-urban-space

In addition to giving our new publication, Pop Up City, a congenial review (“The essay and book is not only a fascinating read, it’s filled with eye candy”), Marc brought up some good points.  He asked towards the end of the post:

Will those seeds grow to inspire some Temporary Users to leave the protective circle of the CUDC?

In other words, he’s asking whether the Cleveland Urban Design Center’s Pop Up temporary events will inspire other groups and individuals around the city to start temporary uses of their own in otherwise abandoned lots.

For anyone out there who is reading this, we would love to hear back from you.  Leave a comment and let us know about your experiences, ideas, and events that were/are all about temporary uses of vacant spaces.

And for anyone who is interested in starting a temporary event or use of a vacant space in Cleveland, there is a handy brochure in the back of the recent Pop Up City publication titled “Temporary Use Advice & Contacts”.  It lets you know what kinds of permits you might need to get in order to use a space, and it’s also chock-full of advice from how to get sponsors to how many Port-O-Potties you may need.  So, if you haven’t already, pick up a book and start igniting (please, not literally) Cleveland!

by marianne eppig.

01-21-09

A Taste of the Upcoming Pop Up City Publication

malloy-book-graphicThis is a taste of Jennifer Malloy’s article “What is Left of Planning?! Residual Planning!” that will be published in the upcoming Pop Up City publication:

Temporary space practitioners are dispersed throughout the shattered remains of shrinking cities in the United States and Europe, within eddies of vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and radical space strongholds – where community and social relations flourish through the production of art – and thrive as a counterculture of resistance to capitalist circuits of place-making. They temporarily remediate the leftovers of capitalism through radical interventions in urban spaces that begin to poke holes in the dominant frame of the city as an avenue for competition and exchange. Instead, the city is viewed as a place where community can be built and experienced, temporarily, while simultaneously creating alternative temporary uses for, and opportunities within, disused urban spaces. This paper discusses such countercultural urban development strategies through two case studies: the Midwest Radical Cultural Corridor in Chicago, Illinois and Hotel Neustadt in Halle, Germany.”

To read the rest of this article and to read others, be sure to pick up the new Pop Up City journal that will be coming out in February.

by marianne eppig.