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Cleveland: Public Square Redesign

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^^Wow, that'd be awesome! Let's do it!

 

Did anyone else attend the orchestra's free performance on PS Friday?

 

I wasn't at the performance, but I went to the Tribe game and Flannery's afterward. The combination of those two events had downtown going crazy. My friends and I sat outside to eat and there were just people and cars everywhere. I think it's one of  the naturally busiest times I've ever seen downtown Cleveland. Amazing!

Hey, I was sitting outside at Flannery's after the fireworks too.  Downtown Friday night was very cool.

 

Were you one of the girls doing the heavy petting with their boyfriends or the girls who couldn't get the waitress's attention? Those are the only people I remembered, I was so distracted by those amazing fireworks!

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Were you one of the girls doing the heavy petting with their boyfriends or the girls who couldn't get the waitress's attention? Those are the only people I remembered, I was so distracted by those amazing fireworks!

Well, I definitely wasn't doing any heavy petting...

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I cannot find the other public square discussion.

 

take a look at another plan for the square at improvised schema:

http://improvisedschema.blogspot.com/

 

i believe someone on this board has aerials of the square, yes? 

wouldn't it be fun if everyone got some tracing paper and drew their vision of the square?

i only wish i could draw a decent tree. ;>)

 

this might be the start of some sort of design competition, eh?  we've certainly got the talent on this board.  we may not possess the paper based media clout of mr. volpe, but alas, we do have the internet!

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Is the city paying attention to what's going on in Public Square now with all the construction? Traffic is down to fewer lanes, and for pedestrians (like me) it feels a safer and more enjoyable walking from PSquare transit (buses/Rapid) to my job. Seems like they should be studying drivers are reacting to fewer lanes/restrictions near the Square.

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^That is an interesting point. I spend quite a bit of time in Public Square myself; mornings, lunch, after work, cigarette breaks. In fact, I think I'm the only 21 year old guy wearing a blazer and smoking out there on the square, so if anyone notices me, feel free to say hi. There are visibly much less people in Public Square since the construction started. Although - quite a bit of pedestrian access has been limited in parts of the square, and I think a lot of people who work east of Ontario, namely along Superior, aren't coming through the square to Tower City, like they usually do for lunch. Hardly anyone is to be seen during the day in front of Tower City now that the buses are running along Prospect. It looks much less vibrant now that construction started, which is to be expected. Thankfully, it is only temporary. 

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County gives $150,000 for Square spruce-up

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Downtown Cleveland Alliance

 

 

 

 

By JAY MILLER

 

6:00 am, August 14, 2006

 

 

 

Cuyahoga County commissioners last week awarded the Downtown Cleveland Alliance $150,000 for its minor face-lift of Public Square.

 

The group, which represents downtown property owners and is supported by a self-imposed tax, will use the money and a like amount of its own to install landscaping and complete a long-term plan for a major makeover of the square.

 

Alliance President Joseph Marinucci said work would begin later this year on pruning crab apple trees and cutting back high bushes to improve sight lines around the square.

 

 

 

***actually, work has already begun.  The County is paying ParkWorks to coordinate the work.

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anyone who is downtown should take a stroll through here today.  what a difference removing the underbrush and trimming the trees makes.  you can actually see out and in, a very big improvement.

 

i actually sat by the fountain and it didn't smell like urine!

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anyone who is downtown should take a stroll through here today.  what a difference removing the underbrush and trimming the trees makes.  you can actually see out and in, a very big improvement.

 

i actually sat by the fountain and it didn't smell like urine!

 

sounds like a photo opp!!  Im not in town...photo's pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease!

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Kent State University's CUDC Fall 2006 Graduate Studio project involves Public Square. They have a blog that updates the project.

It is located here:

 

http://publicsquarestudio.blogspot.com

 

Their first post from August:

 

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Welcome to our studio blog. For the fall semester we will be speculating about the function, relevance, and constitution of Cleveland's Public Square while contemplating the churning character of American common space.

 

Students will be routinely posting their research, analysis, and design work throughout the semester.

 

Please see the studio brief below.

 

This studio seeks to investigate the notion of the American commons, how it should be created and what would substantiate its constitution. We will study and analyze different precedents, conditions, technologies, and projects. The studio will speculate and hybridize tactics, systems, flows, and data and then incorporate normative programs with alternative space functions and utilizations. Buildings, infrastructures, fragments, enclosures, etc. will then emerge, informed by the analytical and speculative milieu.

 

Architecture and Urban Design are not separate endeavors. This studio seeks to inculcate the integration of the architectural projects within the ensemble and planning conceit. The architectures which will evolve throughout the design process will not reside as autonomous objects, but rather will further engender the informed pursuit of the speculation.

 

The studio does not seek to wax romantically about the historic public square. New formulations about American common space will be requisite. The resulting projects will be speculations about the future of American common space and public architectures, how these spaces will function, how these frameworks will be construed, and how these architectural amalgams may be anticipated to change.

 

Our research and speculations will focus upon the redesign of Cleveland's Public Square and the design of a civic / government building.

 

I take a couple of classes with some of the Kent students. I look forward to what they produce.

 

 

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"This studio seeks to inculcate the integration of the architectural projects within the ensemble and planning conceit. The architectures which will evolve throughout the design process will not reside as autonomous objects, but rather will further engender the informed pursuit of the speculation."

 

:sleep: :sleep: :sleep:

 

"Inculcate"? "INCULCATE"?? Someone took themselves a liiitle too seriously when they wrote this.  :roll:

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KENT Studio Update from 9/27:

 

STRATEGIES FOR PUBLIC SQUARE:

 

* To not consider Public Square as a static identity that Cleveland needs

 

* To not concentrate on the Square as a centre

 

* To consider other important issues that could be solved with the available space at the Square

 

* To free the Square from its historical bindings and envision it as a utilitarian space of today and tomorrow

* To give the space a multiple choice usage, considering the Square a flexible fractal of the whole city

 

* Eliminating pedestrian traffic completely and providing for rides instead

 

* Reorganization of vehicular traffic and RTA bus routes by creating special lanes for them could be a practical solution

 

* A mechanism that is functional, logical and is purely derived from the present day need of the "Generic City“

 

* A Square that is new, futuristic and purely based on the need of the existing Cleveland (Generic) city

 

 

I'm not sure this is how the locals think about Public Square when it comes to strategies.

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I'm guessing that this is purely an academic exercise.  I doubt that anyone would have the balls to suggest that pedestrian traffic should be eliminated completely. Would they have snipers on top of the May Co. building to enforce this?

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I think when they wrote pedestrian they may have meant "private" traffic, as opposed to "public" traffic like busses, cabs, rickshaws, etc....  At least I hope this is what they meant.  They may not know what pedestrian means.

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That's true. You may be thinking of Higbee's, Deech. If that's the case, offices for the convention & visitor's bureau are going into Higbee's.

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Curfew would ban late gatherings on Public Square

Posted by Susan Vinella

(Cleveland) Plain Dealer

July 11, 2007 09:28AM

 

No more camping out or hanging out on Public Square past 10 p.m. if Cleveland City Council passes a new law to limit activity on the Square after hours.

 

A law to prohibit people gathering or sleeping on Public Square between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. will be introduced at today's council meeting.

 

Councilman Joe Cimperman, who represents downtown, said the law is intended to improve safety by banning homeless people from sleeping on the square and keeping kids from hanging out there late at night ...

 

... More at http://blog.cleveland.com/plaindealer/2007/07/curfew_would_ban_late_gatherin.html

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I like it.  Next they should be targeting these supposed do gooders who are handing out bowls of soup on sunday mornings/afternoons attracting hundreds of homeless to my city's main public space.  That pisses me off more than anything.

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I don't know about a curfew, but I like the idea of making it illegal to sleep on the square, in fact that should be an anytime restriction.  And yeah, lets get rid of these mobile soup kitchens.

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There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing a group of tourists come out of Tower City and walk right into a makeshift soup kitchen. How about getting rid of the tent city next to the East 9th off ramp next!

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Don't really know how I feel about this whole thing, but I do think it'll be kind of difficult to enforce a "no gathering" rule, given its role as a central bus corridor. I think it'll be really difficult to ascertain whether people are waiting for a bus or "gathering" for a non-transportation purpose, particularly as many of the late night bus routes run so infrequently and so crowds tend to build up before the buses arrive.

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There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing a group of tourists come out of Tower City and walk right into a makeshift soup kitchen. How about getting rid of the tent city next to the East 9th off ramp next!

 

I agree, send them all to Akron.

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Alright, I can understand why everyone is concerned about this and its aesthetic impact on our city, but I would like to remind people that a) we are talking about human beings here, b) while some of these individuals are aggressive panhandlers, others are just normal individuals who happen to be at an economic disadvantage and c) preventing individuals from sleeping or congregating or receiving food assistance in one particular area does little to address the underlying systemic issues of poverty not only in our city but throughout the country (and neither does sending homeless people to Akron). I wish we would spend one-tenth the time thinking about innovative ways to address poverty as we do thinking about innovative ways to move poverty three blocks down the street.

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I'm sorry, I'm not buying the guilt trip.  This isn't about addressing the systemic issues of poverty.  I don't see why it should have to be.  It's about cleaning up our city's main public space.  Public Square is supposed to be a place that residents and visitors of all stripes can come to and enjoy and feel comfortable.  It is not an open air homeless shelter.  It is not an open air food kitchen.  When I can figure out a way to make those who are addicted to drugs, mentally handicapped, or that just refuse to work into productive citizens, I will do all in my power to do so, and probably win a Nobel Peace Prize as well, because sure as hell nobody knows how to do this yet.

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^^ Hope it didn't sound like I was attacking you; just was trying to cut off what I sensed might be turning into a "Gee, wouldn't Cleveland's downtown be great if we could bus all the homeless out" conversation. IMHO, thinking along these lines is pretty impractical and comes off sounding reactionary ... which is not how I want my city to be perceived.

 

But emoticons do help.

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^^ Fair enough. I'm not trying to launch a threadwide guilt trip ... I'm saying that even aside from the humanitarian angle (which, IMO, we shouldn't lose site of when we're talking about living, breathing people), I don't know that policies like this are really all that efficient. I guess my question is, where should these people congregate or sleep in a city that has a shortage of temporary housing and no immediate indications that they're going to step up their supportive housing efforts. Sure, Public Square should be a public area and shouldn't make people fearful. But the Mall's already off limits. People don't want them over by the Jake. I'm guessing that people would object to them sleeping in the Warehouse District or on E. 4th Street. I'm sure as the Avenue District approaches actuality we don't want them congregating in areas adjacent to those developments. If we forbid them on Public Square, they won't disappear. So my question is, what is our long-term solution to where the homeless sleep that both honors their personal well-being and safety and maximizes our positive image among residents and tourists?

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(and neither does sending homeless people to Akron)

 

It's a joke.. learn to take one..

 

 

That was not necessary!!

everyone got your "joke"

 

*****

 

 

*shades, you bring up good points.

We have to think about the root - subjective as it is.

To me (one of) the roots lie in how the suburbs do everything they can to keep these people out of their cities.

Where is virtually all of the affordable housing?

Where are the job re-training facilities?

etc.

when these issues are addressed in a fair matter, then we'll see them fixed.

 

Or we can go back in time and arrange to not have Reagen let the crazies out of the hospitals

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hmm i dont mind this rule, ya know... but public square's condition is the result of Cleveland's and furthermore America's issues with race and class.  A curfew, an extermination, a soup kitchen-mobile thing is not going to resolve whats going on in that square.  If only we did bother to invest in ways to combat poverty or ya know, education, infrastructure... etc...

 

i think this is a bigger problem

 

by the way, any news on fixing the place up?  or is that after the EC...

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