Group Project Cleveland Urban Design Workshop Spring 2021

  • Catherine Cullen, B.S. URS 2021
    Xiaojun Ge, M.R.P. 2021
    Alexander Goddard, 2021
    Nicole Nomura, M.R.P./M.L.A. 2022
    Michael O'Key, M.R.P. 2021
    Zac Zaremba, M.P.S. RE 2021
  • Class

    CRP 5072 Land Use, Environmental Planning, and Urban Design Workshop
  • Instructor

    Mitch Glass

Once part of a large watershed in the 1800s through southeast Cleveland to the Cuyahoga River west of downtown, the ravine known as "Kingsbury Run" was altered to incorporate industrial and transportation/freight uses at the turn of the century, in parallel with the construction of blue collar neighborhoods around it, where much of the immigrant workforce resided. In the early 1900s a long wooden footbridge was constructed over the ravine to connect thriving Hungarian and Polish neighborhoods on either side – the bridge was a place of lively connectivity and social/economic interaction at the time. In 1931, a new bridge was constructed, the first (and only) suspension bridge in Cleveland, known as the Sidaway Bridge. Decades later, the Sidaway Bridge would be badly burned during race riots that took place in east and southeast Cleveland in the mid-1960s. Today, the ravine is mostly a wild, successional landscape with the skeletal remains of the Sidaway Bridge still in place as they were left 60 years ago.

In May 2020, CRP was approached by a non-profit community development corporation in Central/Kinsman known as Burton, Bell, Carr Development Inc. (BBC) to partner on a community engagement and public space design initiative known as the "Kingsbury Run Nature Reserve" (KRNR). The focus of the CRP5072 workshop was to understand the surrounding urban context of the KRNR, connect with and listening to the people who call this home, and assess how community-driven improvements to the physical context in terms of economic development, access, and public space connectivity could promote and leverage the realization of the KRNR itself.

Working in small multi-disciplinary teams, students in CRP5072 in Spring 2021 built community partnerships, engaged in stakeholder outreach, developed critical analyses, and prepared speculative land use and urban design strategies for the neighborhoods of Central, Kinsman and Slavic Village in southeast Cleveland. The course was conducted online through an interactive framework including Zoom calls, community talks, remote site visits, check-ins, small group discussions, internal/external reviews of work, and other learning modes. The course was supported through an 2020⁠–2021 Engaged Faculty Fellowship grant from Engaged Cornell. The workshop was also held in parallel with a Cornell Landscape Architecture studio, LA6020.

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