Friday, July 15, 2016

How Cleveland renewed its outdoor civic spaces ahead of the RNC

My latest installment for Politico's "What Works" series on successful urban innovations is a mini-story from Cleveland, Ohio, where a public-private partnership has aimed to renew and reconnect the city's outdoor public spaces, especially Public Square, the one-time New England-style public common at the heart of the city

Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention is about to open, has an incredible legacy in this regard, having been the location of the greatest manifestation of "City Beautiful" era planning outside of Washington, DC. The current investments key off the 1903 Group Plan, developed by a team led by Daniel Burnham (of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair "White City" fame) and modeled on Paris's Place de la Concorde.

Thanks to KCRW, the NPR affiliate in Santa Monica, California, for their interest in the piece. My
interview with their show "dna: Design and Architecture" airs Tuesday. [Update, 7/21/16: here's the interview.]

In addition to this article, I've written four full-length "What Works" pieces this year: on how Des Moines went from dull to cool; how Manchester, New Hampshire turned its vast 19th century millyard to spinning high-tech gold; on how Denver built its game-changing light rail system, only to discover its most powerful effects were not what they'd expected; and on how Cincinnati transformed "America's most dangerous neighborhood."

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