Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking City

In response to a recent post on Detroit, David Jurca from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) directed me to the very cool Shrinking Cities Institute at Kent State University which "...seeks to examine more sustainable approaches to development and explore the idea of planned shrinkage as an alternative to the quest for continuous growth."

It seems appropriate, as Cleveland shares a lot of similarity with Detroit as a post-industrial city trying to grapple with the idea of controlled shrinking as a reality, and dare I say... an opportunity. One great resource I need to check out is a downloadable report entitled 'Re-Imagining Cleveland: Vacant Land Re-Use Pattern Book'. Some info: "The pattern book is a companion to the Re-Imagining Cleveland plan and recommendations for vacant land reuse that were adopted by the Cleveland City Planning Commission in December 2008. This book is intended to provide inspiration, guidance and resources for community groups and individuals who want to create productive benefit from vacant land in their neighborhood and begin to restore Cleveland's ecosystem."

:: image via Shrinking Cities Institute

I'm definitely going to check out the site and report in more detail, as it satisfies my continual fascination with the Shrinking Cities phenomenon. A couple of other resources worth exploring is the Berkeley Shrinking Cities Group and Project Shrinking Cities. Finally, another interesting endeavor that we've been looking at in Portland (and have done some undisclosed installations around town), is their idea for the Pop-Up City - "Temporary events and installations that occupy vacant buildings and activate vacant land in ways that shine a spotlight on some of Cleveland's spectacular but underutilized properties."

:: image via CUDC

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