I blogged a couple weeks ago about a new effort being led by the property owners on N. Water Street (with a little help from the City and Kent State University) to re-imagine the street and to come up with creative ideas to test out as a “Better Block Project” hopefully later this year.
(To get a feel for how Better Block works you can take a look at how the Better Block Foundation helped the residents of North Hill in Arkon re-invent their neighborhood for a weekend).
In the first working session, the imagineers broke into small groups, drew ideas on maps, cut and pasted ideas, and then presented their works of inspiration to the full group.
This week, a few members of the “core team” sat down and reviewed each of the recommendations in order to identify common themes and distill the big picture ideas into a blueprint in hopes for a Better Block test run.
Here’s that list of common themes:
1. Star of the West open area could be used for outdoor activities (stage, seating, cornhole, yoga, jenga, dancing, chess, etc)
2. Mill District branding could be displayed on the Star of the West building (and other locations)
3. Crosswalks at intersection of Columbus & N. Water
4. Crosswalks at intersection of Portage & N. Water
5. Parklet in front of Scribbles Coffee
6. Pop-Up Market in the Hometown Bank parking lot next to Bent Tree Coffee
7. Vacant lot open area used for outdoor activities (across from 257 N. Water Street)
8. Low wall murals/painting in front of houses north of Bent Tree Coffee
9. General: wide use of green space (wall gardens, pocket park, etc)
10: General: wide use of bike racks
These are still just “drawing board” ideas which will have to be worked through if they’re going to make the cut for the Better Block event.
Lots of work yet to be done to figure out how to take these concepts and turn them into “proto-types” to put in the street for a weekend but it’s a great start.
The group welcomes help from anyone that finds this sort of grass roots community based planning fun. Feel free to contact Harrison at 330 676-7500 to sign up.