“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.
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,
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.”