|Submission Date||March 2, 2018|
Case Western Reserve University
IN-24: Innovation A
|1.00 / 1.00||
Energy & Sustainability
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
The Case Western Reserve University's Nord Family Greenway is a 300-foot-wide parkland that stretches from The University's Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center, continue past the Cleveland Museum of Art and then reach to CWRU's Tinkham Veale University Center, the heart of the CWRU's campus. Construction was completed in early spring 2018.
Thanks to a bold design from Sasaki Associates, it is full of appealing sustainability features, a cantilevered bridge that overlooks significant watershed feature, the Doan Brook, designed to preserve the waterways day-lit section, pesticide-free designed grounds and new climate resilient tree allays.
The main sustainability feature of the project is enhanced pedestrian and bike access. University Circle is a dense urban environment and the greenway spans a new efficient route that typically had to be traversed by car, bus or shuttle.
The 450,000-square-foot project spans three major mobility thoroughfares - East Boulevard, Martin Luther King (MLK) Boulevard and East 105th Street - and a section of Doan Brook, so planners had to find a way to move people across those features safely.
"Initially, there was to be a bridge over the brook and roads," said Irwin Lowenstein, president of ReThink Advisors Inc. and the university's advising architect, "but we believed taking people over the park, instead of through it, was antithetical to the idea of enjoying the space."
The challenge was to devise a plan which, in Lowenstein's words, "made pedestrians more important than cars."
University consultants performed traffic studies for MLK Boulevard and East 105th Street, with slightly surprising results: "We discovered the volume of traffic wouldn't concern us, but the speed of traffic along there was an issue," he said.
Those streets were actually designed so that cars could get through the intersections quickly; the roadways are wide and there are no traffic lights to slow down the vehicles on them. The primary solution at MLK and East 105th is creating an extra-wide crosswalk, new curb cuts and striping, and installing a traffic light.
That way, Lowenstein said, "cars will have to stop for pedestrians."
MLK Blvd also was narrowed in the area of the greenway to eliminate parking lanes where stationary cars might obstruct drivers' views of pedestrians (or pedestrians' views of moving vehicles). This portion of the roadway also features pedestrian-activated warnings.
Timing also is an issue for new trees. "About 180 trees were removed for safety - they're not healthy, or are somehow compromised - and more than 270 new trees are being planted," Lowenstein said. "That was worked into the schedule, too."
Designers are staying true to the original vision of this historic area which included: an urban meadow with flowers, foliage and walking paths. And details have been carefully thought out, with bike racks, benches and even retaining walls that will be the right height for sitting and getting up easily.
The Nord Family Greenway opened for use Spring semester 2018.
Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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