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Concept in Planning: Cleveland Design Competition

Watts Architecture & Engineering, PC, recently submitted to a Cleveland, Ohio design competition, and the concept – of a design competition – is one that could benefit Buffalo.

Architect Marie Carone part of a team of nine at Watts, led by Kirk Miller, Rebecca Bortolin and Stephanie Koch, who answered the call for designs for a downtown mall in Cleveland that would create a connection between the downtown core and the Lake Erie waterfront.  Sound familiar?
Just like Buffalo, Cleveland is a city whose waterways served as their economic growth engine, but that connection was lost as industry changed and railways and highways took over.  What Watts kept in mind for the project, in addition to creating areas where people would want to be, is the reinvigoration of existing infrastructure in order to create a multi-modal center.
watts bike path.png
Carone says the participation by Watts, particularly pulling in interns and young staff, was a great exercise, and one that Watts may do more of in the future.  According to her, Cleveland presents a “problem” yearly.  “As it’s become more known, the response of the global design community response has grown, providing a small community with a worldly perspective,” she says.  Other than being a good exercise to keep staff sharp and working together, the publicity rewards for winners are priceless, and perhaps most importantly, it brings fresh perspective to a project.
Carone did some imagining for us in order to come up with a list of projects around town that she thought would be design competition worthy.  Then we wondered what Buffalo Rising readers might think of this concept for our own city. Carone’s list is as follows:

-The grain elevators/Buffalo River/First Ward – design competition for land use, reuse of concrete structures and water access
-The Outer Harbor, south of the old Pier Restaurant – design competition for land use, road access and water access (not developer driven like the last competition)
-Broadway Market – low cost / low budget improvements
-Central Terminal – competition for building reuse and local street-scape improvements – could perhaps include an extension of the subway to this area and beyond
-Skyway Redevelopment
-Densification and/or consolidation of Buffalo’s East Side
-Growth limits proposals
-Other areas that need improvement:
West Ferry access to the Niagara River
-Street-scape improvements at the following:
Michigan Street from South Park to the 33
Bailey in University Heights
Genesee through the East Side
William through the East Side
Broadway through the East Side
These ideas were just off the top of Carone’s head, and she finished her list with: etc., etc., etc.  What would you add to her list?
Image: A small section of the Watts submission.
[NOTE: Watts’ new website will launch later this month.]
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