If streets are the medium that connect us to place, it can be argued that the physical structures that comprise our neighborhoods– homes, libraries, office buildings, stores and restaurants, and theatres – provide the anchor. However, there is often an imbalance between the form and function of new structures.
In some cities, the architecture and design of new structures is prioritized over function, devaluing how they shape the human experience and how they interact with the existing neighborhood and streetscape. Rather than creating or enhancing an overall sense of place, these structures, while beautiful, exist in isolation rather that contributing to overall urban vitality. In others, function and activity prevail, but those structures fail to provide a sense of creativity, imagination, or inspiration for the residents who use them.
Cleveland is in a unique situation. Migration and economic development in the urban core has led to new construction projects alongside the renovation of existing historic buildings for new purposes, creating tension among existing residents and those who seek to capitalize on economic opportunities. Can city-building be a shared experience between developers, architects, and residents? How can we balance form and function – the design of beautiful, iconic structures with the creation of authentic, meaningful places that all can use and enjoy?
Join us for the second forum in our For the Love of Cleveland: The Power of Place series, a free conversation in Public Square with local leaders exploring some of Cleveland’s current design projects including the Cleveland Public Library's MLK Branch design and Clark-Fulton's Dollar General store.