This past week, more than 40 first-year students in the MRP and HPP programs trekked to fabulous Cleveland, Ohio to learn about distinctive urban planning challenges and opportunities in a city that’s more commonly known for its terrible-but-beloved football team, burning river, and delicious regional sandwich. This year’s iteration of the annual fall field trip was one part experiential learning exercise, one part mild sleep deprivation, and a whole lot of group bonding.
— Cornell Planning (@Cornell_CRP) September 27, 2018
At around 11 a.m. Thursday, bleary-eyed students stumbled out of our bus (we all managed to rouse ourselves for a 5:45 a.m. departure from Ithaca) and onto a boat for a tour of Cleveland along the windy Cuyahoga River. On the journey, our tiny vessel was dwarfed by massive ships that drop raw industrial materials off for the factories along the shore. The waterway is the industrial artery that connects Cleveland to Lake Erie and out to Canada. As Cleveland rose (and declined) on its industrial bona fides, the tour was solid grounding for the field trip’s series of panels and tours on revitalizing post-industrial cities.
These sessions included ones with planners from local and regional development organizations like Slavic Village CDC and Thriving Communities, as well as a talk with Freddy Collier, Cleveland’s director of city planning. The sit-downs complemented a historic preservation walking tour of downtown, as well as a class trip to Severance Hall to hear the Cleveland Orchestra bang out Bartók and Prokofiev.