The Euclid Avenue Corridor in Cleveland, Ohio – included in the Urban Fabric exhibition’s collection of selected strategies for how it is “achieving stable levels of economic growth and employment” – has garnered an award as well as media attention.

The Urban Land Institute awarded the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and Sasaki an Award of Excellence for The Euclid Avenue HealthLine Bus Rapid Transit Project at the Institute’s 2011 Real Estate Summit in Phoenix, AZ on May 19th. The annual awards competition promotes better land use and development throughout the Americas, and as such recognizes the full development process of a project. The criteria for the awards include leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnership, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, and financial viability. This award is one of ten bestowed by ULI in 2011 from 148 entries received from throughout North and South America.

The ULI Award is a recognition of the roughly $5.5 billion in public and private re-investment along the corridor catalyzed by the $197 million Euclid Avenue construction project, and the numerous partnerships between the multiple organizations and agencies necessary to make this level of reinvestment possible. To date, ridership along the transit route is roughly 58% higher than ridership on the previous route, accounting for over 2 million new riders in the first two years of service over the previous bus line.

“Health on Wheels,” a feature article in the June 2011 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine describes the economic investment that the Euclid Avenue HealthLine has engendered in central Cleveland, and the positive response from the public and business communities for the new BRT line.

Sasaki started the preliminary design in 2002 for re-programming Euclid Avenue, the historic main street of Cleveland, to integrate two exclusive bus rapid transit lanes and station platforms into the street right-of-way for the 6.8-mile corridor. Along the corridor, Euclid links 9 different neighborhoods and districts, which required coordination with numerous community development corporations, such as the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and University Circle, Inc., as well as major stakeholders, such as the Playhouse Square Foundation, Cleveland State University, the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and University Hospital, as well as individual property owners.

Following approval of the preliminary design plan, Sasaki provided landscape architecture and graphic design for the comprehensive street re-design, which rebuilt the public right-of-way from building face to building face. Construction started in 2006, and the project opened in late 2008.
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The Urban Fabric exhibition includes a collection of selected strategies that demonstrate successful design, planning and policy from around the world that re-align the challenges of industrial urbanism into sustainable trajectories for the future. Though diverse in scale and type of intervention, as a collection they illustrate a movement toward solutions that combine innovative partnerships, political capital, system-wide thinking, and the transformative power of design.

 

The Herald News reports on the partnership between Sasaki’s Internship Program and Fall River, one of Urban Fabric’s research cities. Read the article here.

Sasaki Associates commenced their 2011 Internship Program on Monday, June 6th. This is the fourth year in which Sasaki has organized a 2-week pro bono workshop with a community in Massachusetts. This year the program is working with the City of Fall River. The partnership with Fall River started in the winter of 2010 when Sasaki highlighted Fall River as one of the prototypical communities for Urban Fabric, an independent research project and exhibit Sasaki hosted. The Urban Fabric Project highlighted Fall River, Massachusetts; Newark, New Jersey; and Mobile, Alabama as communities linked by the textile industry in the United States in the 1800s, and explored how these communities are moving forward following the loss of the industry. The project identified strategies from around the world that communities struggling with the loss of an industry can look to in order to move ahead in rebuilding the economic, social, and environmental foundations of their communities.

The two-week workshop will look at strengthening the connections between Fall River’s downtown and waterfront. The interns will spend the following 8 weeks working with project teams throughout Sasaki’s office.

 

Thanks to Michael Paganetti for a great article at the Boston Society of Architects – “Urban Fabric: What happens when you let innovation lead.” Read the article here.

The Boston Society of Architects is committed to professional development for its members, advocacy on behalf of great design, and sharing an appreciation for the built environment with the public at large. Established in 1867, the BSA today consists of more than 4,000 members and produces a diverse array of programs and publications, including Build Boston and ArchitectureBoston. As a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the BSA is a nonprofit, professional-service organization.

Visit architects.org.

 

Urban Fabric will be presented at the 2011 ASLA Annual Meeting in San Diego October 30–November 2. The panel includes Dan Pitera, Steven Apfelbaum, Gina Ford and co-moderators Eamonn Hutton and Alexis Canter. More details coming soon.

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the national professional association representing landscape architects. Beginning with 11 original members, ASLA has grown to more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 42 countries around the world, plus 68 student chapters. The Society’s mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.

Visit ASLA.org.