Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Intelligent Public Square

Since May, this blog, along with some other local blogs, have been discussing the present condition and the future constitution of Cleveland’s Public Square. You can read our past posts here, here, and here. Clearly, some consequential and progressive re-consideration must be undertaken to improve the region’s most recognizable public space.

BOTC now hears that several organizations (Downtown Cleveland Alliance, College 360, etc.) are indeed looking to spearhead a campaign to revitalize Cleveland’s most recognizable public space. We are happy to hear that significant studies will be executed that hopefully will inform the re-design of the area. These “private” organizations, unlike government entities like the City, County, or Regional Transit Authority, seem to possess a charged, coherent vision, unencumbered with constituent political baggage or incompetent political narcissism.

However, we implore the potential stake-holding organizations sponsor an international competition for the Square. Similar international competitions occur every year for cities across the globe, but also in our regional backyard. Although BOTC routinely chastises local institutions for running to the coasts to find their architects, we now suggest this international competition vehicle in order to solicit a broad scope of design notions. The competition will not only accrue global ideas but also place Cleveland at the forefront of international design attention.

Public Square needs to become an “intelligent” space, unlike any other public space in the United States. What is an “intelligent" space? What are other intelligent spaces + fields in the region? Burnham's Mall? Others? Look for future speculations from Improvised Schema, Design Rag, Public Square Studio, and BOTC.

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