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Vision of CSU students breathes new life into waterfront neighborhood

The Flats West Bank district, once Cleveland’s top destination for nightlife, is gaining momentum for redevelopment with support from a strategic plan drafted by Cleveland State University graduate students.

The students’ plan leverages completion of the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail (aka the Lake Link Trail), which will connect the 101-mile-long Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail to Cleveland Metroparks’ Wendy Park, located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on Lake Erie.

By June, construction crews will have completed the initial phase of the Centennial Trail, which eventually will create the first direct link to the lakefront for residents and visitors while enhancing recreational options and development opportunities.

The CSU project, titled “Irishtown Greenway: A Strategic Plan for the Flats West Bank,” was completed at the request of the Trust for Public Land by a team of students from the Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development program in CSU’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. The effort was guided by faculty members Wendy Kellogg, Ph.D., associate dean of the Levin College, and Levin College Fellow James Kastelic.

The plan won a national Student Project Award from the American Institute of Certified Planners, presented in April at the American Planning Association National Planning Conference in Seattle. Faculty instructors and advisers from universities across the country nominated student projects, documenting the project focus, methods and results in order to select honorees.

The CSU student project team members were Juleian Curtis, Nikki Glazer, Dion Harris, Dean Ibsen, Kyle Krewson, Andrew Lang, Shiqi Lu, Darrick Matthews, Michael Mears, Matthew Moss, Caylen Payne, Scott Schirg, Steve Sump and Ann Thompson.

Get the full story on CSU’s ENGAGED blog.