One Park To Bind Them All

One Park To Bind Them All

Courtesy James Corner Field Operations and LAND Studio

As many  

Picnic Hill.

“Public Square at this point is a means to an end,” said LAND Studio senior project director Nora Romanoff. “It’s just not very pedestrian-friendly at all.”

In the design, tree-lined pathways and grassy hills weave the square together. The programming aims to make it a true civic space. Dedicated spaces, such as “Picnic Hill” and “Speakers Terrace,” complement space for kiosks, cafes, and ice-skating.

Superior Street bisecting the site will be open only to buses.

In Cleveland, downtown development has gathered considerable momentum since the 2008 financial collapse. The city’s mall is getting a facelift, and recent developments include a massive new medical mart and convention center, a casino, and downtown residential and hotel developments. In early June,  

Concert hill (left) and the plaza around an existing monument (right).

While redevelopment efforts in the 1990s failed to produce the public interest that comes with a true civic renewal, planners today are focused on parks and cultural experiences. The designers of Public Square hope to unite citywide development gains, stitching together a lively downtown with a leafy civic space.

“We’re trying to optimize all of these catalytic projects that are happening around Public Square,” Romanoff said. “If we’re doing our job right, absolutely this is a park that spurs all of these other things that have nothing to do with the park, but at the same time have everything to do with the park.”