Park Plan Tames the Car to Unleash Civic Renewal in Cleveland

By removing auto traffic from two key streets, the plan for a 10-acre park in the heart of downtown Cleveland seeks to weave together the city's 'lackluster' Public Square and help boost a downtown revival.
June 14, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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James Corner Field Operations, Cleveland-based LAND Studio, and transportation consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard have developed an ambitious scheme to unite the four disconnected squares that make up Cleveland's historic Public Square by closing Ontario Street and Superior Avenue to automobiles. "In the design, tree-lined pathways and grassy hills weave the square together," explains Chris Bentley. "The programming aims to make it a true civic space."

"While redevelopment efforts in the 1990s failed to produce the public interest that comes with a true civic renewal, planners today are focused on parks and cultural experiences," he adds. "The designers of Public Square hope to unite citywide development gains, stitching together a lively downtown with a leafy civic space."

“We’re trying to optimize all of these catalytic projects that are happening around Public Square,” said LAND Studio senior project director Nora Romanoff. “If we’re doing our job right, absolutely this is a park that spurs all of these other things that have nothing to do with the park, but at the same time have everything to do with the park.”


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Published on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in The Architect's Newspaper
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