A team of planners in Akron are trying to create some optimism for the future of one of the city's most blighted stretches of highway.
"For a generation, the southernmost stretch of Howard Street has been a vague, disconnected thing, a dogleg off the back end of downtown Akron.
The only potential upside is that the corridor is mostly a blank slate, and blank slates are good for the imagination.
It also happens to be a blank slate with a dramatic downhill vista; a robust, historic park; and some ambitious new housing. Also, a river runs through it.
Last weekend, a group of about 20 students and a half dozen faculty from Kent State University's Urban Design Center met in an open space at the new Northside Lofts complex, a vast room with unfinished concrete walls and exposed pipes, an apt setting for the imagination."