Ideas for connecting downtown and YSU presented at open house this week

YSU Youngstown skylineProposals for creating better connections between downtown Youngstown and the campus of Youngstown State University will be presented at an open house 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Lewis School, 30 W. Front St., Youngstown.

The open house will feature 150 projects completed by students from Kent State University on creating an interconnected downtown Youngstown and YSU campus by rethinking the built environment.

The project is a collaboration of the city of Youngstown, YSU’s Regional Economic Development Initiative and Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. The studio has engaged city, non-profit, and private leaders during the design process with the hope of re-envisioning potential sites for investment and re-use.

“YSU truly appreciates the expertise and commitment of our Kent State University faculty and student partners,” said Mike Hripko YSU associate vice president for Research. “This collaboration provides the city of Youngstown with a comprehensive architectural and business vision for the future that can be used to accelerate development and attract further investment.”

Douglas Steidl, dean of Kent’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, said one of the college’s goals is to instill the fact that design is integral to the quality of life of all citizens. Thus architecture students and practitioners have an obligation to improve life for everyone through the projects they conceive, he said.

“This studio brings that concept into reality,” he added. “It grounds the student in a real life situation and challenges them to envision a better life for the citizens of the community.”

More than 75 students have been designing for new sites and existing buildings in the downtown. The process is a part of CAED’s Community Fund initiative, which provides resources to faculty willing to engage with a city and pick design projects that would benefit the city. The goal is for the students to experience working with real clients and for the city to get a rough vision that they can use as a baseline when working with design firms for future implementation of prioritized concepts catalyzed by their work.

The studio’s work will also set the tone for CAED’s Master of Landscape Architecture and undergraduate Architectural Studies, where students will spend their semester in Youngstown imaging potential landscape design projects that would enhance the livability and economic value of sites within the city.

The work presented at the open house builds upon the momentum of the urban design charrette that was presented Oct. 29 at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown. The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s annual Midwest Urban Design Charrette was a three-day event and was a partnership between CAED, Lawrence Tech’s College of Architecture and Design, and Ball State’s Urban Design Center.

For more information, conact Dominic C. Marchionda at or 330-550-0070.