a green & complete street experiment

ARCH UD-60702 Spring Studio 2012 Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

Involving the public in the physical testing of ideas can yield unique insights into the expectations of future users and the types of design features for which they yearn; truly participatory planning should go beyond drawing on flip charts and maps.
- Tactical Urbanism

OVERVIEW This five week urban design studio will involve the research, design, installation and evaluation of a temporary green and complete street in downtown Cleveland. Students will engage with local stakeholders to develop a set of desired amenities to be constructed, full scale, within a selected street’s public right-of-way at the end of the semester. Once the installations are in place, students will observe the public’s interactions and conduct surveys to assess the project. An intention of this pop-up project is to create a physical embodiment of the aspirations conveyed in the City of Cleveland’s Green and Complete Streets Ordinance and the Group Plan Commission’s Report recommendations. In 2011, the Cleveland City Council passed an ordinance requiring 20% of the money spent on road projects to cover the costs of amenities for bicyclists, pedestrians and persons with disabilities. The ordinance also necessitates considerations for energy efficiency and stormwater management in all projects. This “Green and Complete Streets” ordinance follows a growing trend in municpalities across the country to design streets for various modes of transportation, not simply the maximization of

The Better Block Project in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas included pedestrian crosswalk striping, a bike lane, expanded outdoor seating and reactivated storefronts, while retaining a car lane.

car traffic flow. Cleveland’s local bicycling community and environmental advocates are eager to see follow through on the language found in the recent legislation. A physical, albeit non-permanent, example of a green and complete street may help spread public awareness of the new ordinance and build political support for permanent implementation. The project also aims to support and further explore recommendations made in the 2011 Group Plan Commission report. The site selected for the temporary intervention aligns with the intentions of these two recent developments, which will surely have a significant impact on Cleveland’s built environment. SITE: ROCKWELL AVENUE Based on initial conversations with members of local bike advocacy groups and Group Plan Commission members, Rockwell Avenue was selected as the most favorable site for the studio project. The project will focus on the the stretch of Rockwell Avenue between Ontario Avenue and E. 6th Street (see attached maps). The site was selected based on the following criteria derived from initial stakeholder meetings: • Included in the Group Plan Commission report recommendations • Location provides multi-modal use: pedestrians, bikes, transit and cars • Should provide the benefit of replicability; street conditions aren’t too unique • Highly visible location with considerable foot traffic • Site will not be blocked by construction during last weeks in April • Connection between Public Square and Malls needs to be enhanced • There’s no predetermined answer for the site - creative solutions are needed IMPLICATIONS FOR URBAN DESIGN As stated in the opening quote from Tactical Urbanism, including members of the public in the design process, not just through charts and maps, but in full-scale crafted environments, can provide more fruitful interactions between stakeholders and designers. Unexpected consequences, both positive and negative, may be discovered while inhabiting the temporary installation, which could require alterations to the design. This non-traditional process may also generate novel ideas and cultivate long term community stewardship. This project follows a growing trend in urban design practice to expand public engagement to include more participatory and intuitive methods.

OBJECTIVES Through the process of this course students will learn how design in the studio directly affects the daily experience of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and car drivers in an urban environment. The design/build format of the studio will strengthen a real world understanding of core urban design principals, including human scale design, multi-modal accomodation, sensitivity to neighborhood context and recognition of the social impact of design decisions. The project also provides students with an opportunity to interact with multiple community stakeholders, such as bicycling advocacy groups, regional transit representatives, public officials and local residents. Students will also design methods for assessing the impact of the installations, as a form of post-occupancy evaluation, which the students will conduct during the last week of class.

FORMAT The Studio will meet on Mondays and Fridays from 1:10 - 5:15 PM and on Wednesdays from 3:00 - 6:00 PM. Attendance is required during entire designated studio hours. GRADING AND EXPECTATIONS Grades will be based on the following criteria: + Attendance. (Only one unexcused absence will be permitted. Subsequent unexcused absences will affect final grade.) + Continuous progress throughout the duration of the Studio project. Design is an iterative process: initial design, critique, note problems, refine design, and repeat. Students are expected to anticipate failed designs and work hard to create new solutions. Fail early and fail often to succeed sooner. Students are also expected to work hard during all stages of the process, including initial research, design conceptualization, fabrication and on-site assessment. + Presentation and installation quality. During interim reviews and final installation, students are expected to communicate their project intentions effectively through appropriate media and engage in thoughtful dialogue with jurors and stakeholders.

INSTRUCTORS The lead instructor for this studio will be David Jurca, but the entire CUDC core staff will be involved in teaching throughout the semester. Our offices and your studios are only a few steps apart, so please feel welcome to see any staff member for questions, concerns or to borrow a useful book. David Jurca : djurca@kent.edu : 216.337.4303 (cell) : 216.357.3438 (office) Jeff Kruth: jkruth@kent.edu Sagree Sharma: ssharm15@kent.edu Terry Schwarz : tschwarz@kent.edu


Wk Day Date In Class Exercise 1 1 M W 3/26 Introduction to Project Timeline 3/28 Site Visit Document and measure site conditions Meet w/ Rob Mavec (City Engineer) at site 3/30 Meet with GSA, NEORSD, bike advocacy groups and Group Plan representatives



2 2 2


4/2 4/4 4/6

In-Class Design Workshop (ASLA) Initial Design review Submit Permit / Design Development

3 3 3



Design Development

4/11 Interim Review (external reviewers) 4/13 Dan Austin workshop | Revise Designs

4 4 4 4


4/16 Material acquisition and Fabrication 4/18 Material acquisition and Fabrication 4/20 Installation Day 1

Sat 4/21 Installation Day 2 | Evening Launch Event

5 5 5 5


4/23 Installation and Observation 4/25 Observation & Data collection 4/27 On-site Final Review | Critical Mass Bike Ride

Sat 4/28 Site Cleanup



Current view of Rockwell Ave. looking east from Public Square.

Concept images of Rockwell Ave. as “Cleveland’s Green Street showpiece,” from Group Plan Report


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Lydon, Mike et al. Tactical Urbanism 2: Short Term Action | Long Term Change. The Street Plans Collaborative. http://tacticalurbanismsalon.com/post/19558103827 Chicago Department of Transportation. Bike Lane Design Guide. http://www.activelivingresources.org/assets/chicagosbikelanedesignguide.pdf The Bridge Project [Student Design Build Charrette] Report | 2009. http://www.scribd.com/doc/54060822/The-Bridge-Project-Report-2009 Green Streets: A Conceptual Guide to Effective Green Streets Design Solutions. US EPA. http://1.usa.gov/GUMapx Group Plan Commission Reports http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/grouplan/ Go Oakcliff. How to Build a Better Block. http://www.gooakcliff.org/how-to-build-a-better-block/ National Complete Streets Coalition website. http://www.completestreets.org/ Schwarz, Terry, and Rugare, Steven, eds. Pop Up City (Urban Infill, Vol. 2) Available at CUDC. RTA Transit Waiting Environments (TWE) Study Sarte, S. Bry. Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design. Cleveland Green and Complete Streets Ordinance http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/09/cleveland_council_oks_complete.html Urban Interventions: Personal Projects in Public Space. Gestalten publishers. NACTO. Urban Bikeway Design Guide. http://www.nacto.org www.TheFunTheory.com
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STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES University policy 3342-3-01.3 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through Student Accessibility Services (contact 330-672-3391 or visit www.kent.edu/sas for more information on registration procedures).

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