Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Visions of Parma

If one was to exhibit urban design speculations about the storied suburb of Parma, Ohio, where would that be? Of course, the exhibtion would be hung in Parmatown Mall.

Work from Kent State's CUDC Fall 2007 Urban Design Studio is now on display in a vacant storefront in the Mall. The student work considered a Parma 2.0, the next iteration of this suburb that is currently losing population, investment, and value. How does a blue-collar suburb regain its footing as heavy manufacturing leaves the city and the region? How does design instigate needed change?

Student proposals include the imposition of cultural concourses, linear universities, race-track urbanisms, religious enclave networks, and the construction of a Parma Dam and resulting Lake Parma. A more sober proposal looks at the potential of reclaiming and re-appropriating foreclosed properties to create a new suburbansim.

All are worth a look.

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